Hospitality, Legal Travels

Automatic Door Lawsuit Against Ramada

by Claire Crowley-

The Estate of June Sylvia Cole has sued V and W Investments, LLC, the company that owns the Ramada Hotel in Portland, Oregon where June was staying when she was allegedly struck by the hotel’s automatic doors. She died shortly thereafter.
According to the complaint, on August 6, 2016 June, 87, was waiting outside of the hotel lobby’s mechanical doors for her daughter to pick her up in her vehicle.  The sliding doors abruptly moved causing June to fall and hit her head on the concrete. June was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where she passed away on August 7, 2016. The complaint alleges that her death was a result of the fall caused by Ramada’s doors.

June’s estate brings negligence claim against Ramada. A claim of negligence has multiple factors that must be established by the plaintiff. First, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of reasonable care to protect the plaintiff from foreseeable harms. Second, the defendant’s actions or inactions lead it to breach its duty of care to the plaintiff. Third, the defendant’s breach of its duty of care to the plaintiff caused the plaintiff’s injuries.

June’s estate claims that Ramada breached its duty of care to June because it allowed the automatic doors to remain in a defective and dangerous state. June’s estate alleges that the automatic doors were defective and dangerous because the doors moved without warning and the doors lacked a sensor to halt their movement in the event that a person was in their path.

June’s estate also claims that Ramada failed to provide a safe area to wait for cars in front of the establishment which was clear of the doors and that it also failed to assist June in navigating the doors given her age and infirmity.

The estate claims damages in the amount of $23,000.00  for the cost of emergency services and funeral expenses and $2,500,000 for deprivation of companionship by June’s surviving heirs, her daughter, brother and granddaughter.

In a claim of negligence, the plaintiff must demonstrate all of the factors that create a negligence claim, but the defendant only has to disprove one of the factors for the claim to fail. The defendant in this case will likely argue that it did not owe June a duty of care to assist her in navigating through the doors. In addition, it could argue that being hit by the doors or falling as a result of being hit by the doors was foreseeable. There could also be an argument that being hit by the doors did not directly cause June’s death.

Read the full complaint here: http://media.oregonlive.com/portland_impact/other/ramada.doors.suit.pdf

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Claire Crowley