Tag Archives: Mold

Hospitality Industry Health Risks: Oklahoma Motel “Forced To Close” By City Officials Over Bed Bug Infestation, Mold, Water And Sewer Issues

“…City officials said the motel has been under surveillance for about a year and the owners have been told numerous times to fix problems with Hotel Bed Bugs Infestationbed bugs, mold issues, as well as water and sewer…Code enforcement officers said an angry customer called them to complain after noticing bed bug bites on her children and roaches falling from the ceiling…”

A motel in Ardmore is shut down after bed bugs and other issues pose a threat to customers. The Regency Inn located on 2705 on North Commerce St. in Ardmore was forced to close its doors after it failed a city code inspection.

The motel was shut down and customers were forced to leave the building. They said the motel will stay closed until the owner’s fix the issues and it meets city codes.

The owners declined to comment but said they’ll take care of the issues.

For more:  http://www.kten.com/story/22708184/ardmore-motel-shuts-down-after-bed-bug-investation

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Hospitality Industry Property Risks: Hotels Suffer Extensive “Water Damage” From Hurricane Sandy, Requiring An “Extraordinarily Complicated Repair Process”

“…when it comes to water damage, trust the experts…hotels in New Orleans made it through Katrina and Gustav with clear emergency plans in place. And where there is water, there’s potential for mold.”

“Mold and water damage may be confounding to many hotel managers because it is not something one customarily knows a lot about,”

Hotels in the affected areas felt Hurricane Sandy’s hardest punch Monday night, but as properties from the East Coast to the Midwest deal with storm damage and after-effects, it’s worth it to revisit safety and security procedures for everything from water damage to dealing with irate guests. Here’s a quick roundup of articles from current sources and Hotel Management’s archives to help navigate the storm:

CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS
First off, Eblin Group’s Scott Eblin shares the five tips leaders can glean from New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg about crisis communications. The gist: project quiet confidence, be consistent and frequent, be relevant, make specific requests, and put the team front and center.

Next check out “Crisis situations call for clear communication plans” from the Hotel Management archive.

CLEANING UP
Learn from hoteliers who dealt firsthand with Hurricane Katrina; when it comes to water damage, trust the experts. From “Lessons learned in the Big Easy,” (Hotel Management, 2009) see how hotels in New Orleans made it through Katrina and Gustav with clear emergency plans in place.

And where there is water, there’s potential for mold. Check out the EPA’s list of ten things to know about mold here, as well as resources for flooding and mold remediation. (Scroll to the bottom of the article).

It will take some time to assess flood damage following Hurricane Sandy, but one lesson hoteliers have learned over the years is to hire the experts when it comes to mold damage. As Colin Reed, Gaylord Entertainment’s chairman and CEO, said following the extensive Gaylord Opryland flooding in 2010, “flood damage requires an extraordinarily complicated repair process.”

Not only is the repair process something best left to experts, the legal issues also may be too murky to handle on your own. “Mold and water damage may be confounding to many hotel managers because it is not something one customarily knows a lot about,” said Karen Morris, a lawyer specializing in hotel litigation and Hotel Management’s legal columnist. “The good news is that managers do not need to be even semi-experts in this field. Rather, hire an expert and follow his/her advice concerning frequency of inspections, methods of inspection, and necessary clean up.”

So what about insurance claims? Check out Hotel Management archived articles about contingent business interruption coverage and steps for handling an insurance claim.

For more:  http://www.hotelmanagement.net/property-security-and-safety/what-you-need-to-know-about-cleaning-up-after-sandy

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Hospitality Industry Health Risks: Texas Hotel Sued Over “Toxic Mold” In Room That Sickened Guest

“…the defendants “knew or should have known that the dangerous condition, toxic mold, existed on said premises, but failed to warn and/or failed to correct the said dangerous condition…the toxic mold caused the plaintiff’s personal injuries and property damage in question,” the suit says…”

Friendswood resident Stacy Johnson is suing Park Management Group and Sun Suites Interests alleging she was sickened by toxic mold in a hotel room.

Johnson’s lawsuit, filed Feb. 1 in Galveston County Court at Law No. 1, alleges the plaintiff fell ill on Aug. 3, 2010, as a result of toxic mold found in a room at Sun Suites of Clear Lake in Houston.

Park Management Group was responsible for the safety and habitable state of the rooms at the property in question while Sun Suites Interests owned said property, the suit says.

The original petition shows subsequent tests confirmed that the mold was in Johnson’s room and it was recommended that she not stay in the room.

For more:  http://www.setexasrecord.com/news/241622-woman-sues-hotel-claiming-toxic-mold-made-her-sick

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Hospitality Industry Health Hazards: Hotels Must Maintain Health And Safety Plans To Protect Against Bed Bug Infestation, Mold, And Other Health Hazards

State inspectors have the authority to shut down an establishment that poses an "imminent health hazard" involving fire, flood, sewage backup, rodent infestation, bed bug infestation or "any other condition that could endanger the health and safety of guests, employees and the general public."

Becky Andrews checked into the Super 8 hotel in Bonner Springs last fall as she prepared to watch her son act in a play at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

For Andrews, a retired high school chemistry teacher from Colorado, the night turned into an ordeal.

“I had this sensation of things crawling on me, but I never saw anything,” she said. “It took a long time for me to realize what was going on.”

After several “itchy-twitchy” hours, she said, she captured a live bug in a plastic cup and took it to the front desk the next morning to complain.

She said that when the hotel didn’t appear to take her seriously, she filed a complaint with the state.

A Kansas Department of Agriculture inspector visited the hotel on Nov. 3 and confirmed that Room 406 was infested with bed bugs.

The hotel was ordered to fix the problem, and a follow-up inspection was scheduled for Dec. 3. But the follow-up never occurred.

The state announced that day it was suspending its lodging inspection program because of budget cuts.

Hotel law

In Kansas, hotels, motels and bed-and-breakfasts are governed by the Lodging Establishment Regulations, a 54-page document that regulates the water temperature in hot tubs, the liners used in ice buckets, and the markings that delineate the deep and shallow ends of hotel swimming pools, among other things.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture licenses more than 800 lodging facilities, and until last year each of those was required to submit to an annual inspection focusing on safety and sanitation issues.

Under the system, each violation was noted in an inspection report, and follow-up inspections were scheduled when problems couldn’t be corrected immediately. About 11 percent of last year’s inspections required follow-up visits.

In addition to the routine inspections, the Department of Agriculture last year investigated 132 lodging complaints, 35 of which involved bed bugs. Inspectors said 11 of the bed bug complaints — including the one submitted by Andrews — were valid.

State inspectors have the authority to shut down an establishment that poses an “imminent health hazard” involving fire, flood, sewage backup, rodent infestation, bed bug infestation or “any other condition that could endanger the health and safety of guests, employees and the general public.”

Last year, imminent health hazard violations were issued 24 times. Six of the violations involved bed bugs.

Constantine Cotsoradis, deputy agriculture secretary, said that discontinue-operations orders, particularly in bed bug cases, usually apply only to areas of a hotel affected by the problem.

“We want to protect the public but do as little economic harm as possible to the business,” he said.

State law gives regulators the authority to impose civil penalties on establishments that experience repeated violations. Last year such a penalty was imposed only once — a $1,350 penalty assessed to the Knights Inn and Suites in Leavenworth.

During its final 12 months of operation — December 2008 through November 2009 — the state’s lodging inspection program sent inspectors to nearly 800 businesses, and most inspections uncovered at least some violations.

The businesses collectively were cited for 3,251 violations including soiled linens, moldy showers, and unsafe levels of chlorine in swimming pools.

The most common violations — those dealing with smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers — accounted for nearly 20 percent of the total.

http://www.kansas.com/2010/02/21/1191720/no-state-money-for-hotel-inspections.html

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