The problem is found on page 313 of your textbook. Here is it, recapped: 2. Douglas Margreiter was severely injured in New Orleans on the night of April 6, 1976. He was the chief of the pharmacy section of the Colorado Department of Social Services and was in New Orleans to attend the annual meeting of the American Pharmaceutical Association. On Tuesday evening, April 6, Mr. Margreiter had dinner at the Royal Sonesta Hotel with two associates from Colorado who were attending the meeting and were staying in rooms adjacent to Mr. Margreiter's in the New Hotel Monteleone. Mr. Margreiter returned to his room between 10:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.; one of his friends returned to his adjoining room at the same time. Another friend was to come by Mr. Margreiter's room later to discuss what sessions of the meetings each would attend the next day. About three hours later, Mr. Margreiter was found severely beaten and unconscious in a parking lot three blocks from the Monteleone. The police who found him said they thought he was highly intoxicated, and they took him to Charity Hospital. His friends later had him moved to the Hotel Dieu.M Mr. Margreiter said two men had unlocked his hotel room door and entered his room. He was beaten about the head and shoulders and had only the recollection of being carried to a dark alley. He required a craniotomy and other medical treatment and suffered permanent effects from the incident. Mr. Margreiter sued the hotel on grounds that the hotel was negligent in not controlling access to elevators and hence to the guests' rooms. The hotel says Mr. Margreiter was intoxicated and met his fate outside the hotel. Is the hotel liable? [Margreiter v. New Hotel Monteleone 640 F.2d 508 (5th Gr. 1981)]
1. What are the elements of negligence that Mr. Margreiter will need to prove against the hotel in order to win his case? List the five elements here. (Points : 5)
Making a case for Negligence
1. Duty - The requirement here is to prove that the hotel had a duty to provide a reasonable and prudent amount of safety to its guests in the restriction of third party access to elevators and rooms. There is little doubt that when a guest checks into any but the most questionable hotels in dangerous neighborhoods there is a presumption of safety and security implied with the room. This seems as inherent as a roof that does not leak and running water and usable plumbing. This requirement in this case that the Hotel had a duty to provide security is fairly easy to prove.
2. Breach of Duty- The next step would be to prove that the recognized duty in step one had been breached or fallen short of. Based solely on the evidence provided, this is a much harder task. It is not known what kind of security the hotel provided at the entry, to the elevator, on each floor or how secure the keys were. Irregularies or insecurities in any of these areas would be required to firmly establish a breach.
3. Causation - This is quite likely the most difficult aspect of this case. Even if the Breach could be clearly established, it is not at all clear that this was the cause of Mr. Margreiter's attack.Put another way, the question but for - the flawed hotel security Mr. M would have been safe and sound in his room does not have a clear answer. It is not clear that Mr M. ever made it back to his hotel. The only evidence is his memory which is suspect based upon the injuries he sustained. As a result causation is not at all clearl In order to begin to establish causation, there would have to be evidence that Mr. M. did indeed make it back to his room and that he was attacked in his room and that the attackers had gained access due to the breach. As intimated above. I think that the hotel could assert that breach, causation and as a result proximate cause do not exist. There is no evidence that the hotel failed to provide a reasonable amount of security. It is unclear and quite questionable as to whether Mr. M. did...
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