Kevin James Malone vs Summit Motel (2000)
In the case of Kevin James Malone versus Summit Motel (2000), Mr. Malone who had checked in at Summit Motel gave evidence that he was advised that someone had left the patio door open in the room he was given during his check-in and as a result the patio door was frozen open. He did not recall the entire conversation that he had with the clerk when he checked in but he had the impression that the curtains had been left open in an attempt to thaw the rail so that the patio door could be closed. He had also been advised that there was no problem with leaving his things in the room with the patio door open if he went out. Hence, he went out for the evening. While he was gone, his room and a number of others where burglarized with access apparently being gained through the patio door.
The employees from the motel acknowledged that there was a conversation with Mr. Malone concerning the frozen patio door. The curtains had been left open to allow heat from the room to thaw the patio door. One of the housekeeping employees gave evidence that the clerk told him to close the patio doors if he went out. Thus, Mr. Malone has brought an action for the value of certain personal belongings stolen from the room he was renting at the Summit Motel. This trial raised the issue of the scope of Section 7 of the Innkeepers Act.
Section 7 of the Innkeepers Act reads as follows :
7 An innkeeper is not liable to make good to his guest any loss of or injury to property brought to his inn, except
(a) when the property has been stolen, lost or injured through the wilful act, default or neglect of the innkeeper or his servants,
(b) when the property, other than a vehicle, has been expressly delivered for safe custody to the innkeeper, but the innkeeper may, if he thinks fit, require as a condition of his liability under this clause that the property be deposited in a box or other receptacle and fastened and...