“…An expert for the family testified that construction plans for the hotel, as well as its floor plan, depicted a center handrail where Volner fell… The expert also said that based on the intended use and width of the stairway, as well as applicable city building codes, a center handrail was required…”
“…the pattern on the carpet “camouflaged’’ the stairs, exacerbating the dangerous condition created by the lack of a handrail…”
The state Court of Appeals has upheld a $2.4 million verdict against a Tucson hotel where a woman tripped, fell down the stairs and died.
In a unanimous ruling, the judges rejected arguments by the owners of the Viscount Hotel that evidence of subsequent injuries is irrelevant to whether the business was negligent in this specific incident. They also brushed aside claims by the attorneys for the hotel that such evidence was prejudicial and would unfairly sway jurors against the business.
Her four children sued. A jury issued a $3 million judgment. But jurors concluded that Volner was 20 percent liable for her own injuries, reducing the verdict to $2.4 million.
A former hotel employee said there had been a center handrail but it had been removed and the carpeting changed. And an expert witness hired by the hotel agreed that the building code required a center handrail and it was a violation to have removed it.