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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44924
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My partner and I were bullied by some other hotel guests.

Customer Question

My partner and I were bullied by some other hotel guests. The bullying and abuse lead to my partner being punched and I was thrown to the ground twice - which has resulted in a broken foot. The security witnessed the guests attacking us - were very slow at intervening. I have raised a complaint with one of the many Sofitel managers but nothing has happened. I was told they would deal with the situation only to be left all day in the hotel room, unable to walk. What should i do? How should i proceed? They do not seem to be taking the situation seriously.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

What are you hoping to achieve in this situation?

JACUSTOMER-2m4ok8or- :

I would like the people who attacked us to at least be spoken to regarding the situation.I feel that some kind of internal investigation needs to be carried out by the hotel. Do they have a legal obligation to their guests safety? Initially I was going to report the event to the police - but as we are due to leave tomorrow morning that isn't going to happen now. Despite the manager telling me that he was dealing with the situation and would keep me informed - I have not heard anything? I have paid £769 for a 3 night stay on a room only basis, which I am not happy about. My last day has been spent in bed with my foot elevated and clearly broken. We were planning to get married in this hotel. My boyfriend proposed to me here last year and I loved the place so much we came back. I am so upset and tearful about the situation it has ruined my wedding plans and left me in a state of shock, sadness and dismay. And my anxiety is at an all time high - I currently take medication for this. I would like a full refund and I feel I should be entitled to compensation. My stay has been ruined by physical violence and harassment from these other guests.I have been told that the manager will come to my room at 7pm. ~How should I proceed?

Ben Jones :

ok let me get my response ready please

JACUSTOMER-2m4ok8or- :

Also I have been trying to get some crutches all day so i can at least walk!! Nothing has appeared yet. Thankyou.

Ben Jones :

Whilst the hotel has a duty of care towards their guests that does not unfortunately mean that they have to do everything possible to avoid issues like the ones you experienced. They would only be expected to deal with reasonably foreseeable harm and only deal with it in a manner that any other reasonable hotel in their position would have done.

Now it is not reasonably expected that guests will start fighting with each other, although if there were clear signs that trouble was brewing and that threats were made, this should have placed the hotel on notice that something may go wrong. However, once the physical attack actually occurred you also need to consider what the security is there for and if they are there just to ensure that the necessary security checks are done they would not be expected to intervene in physical fights.

Now to address your specific concerns:

You cannot force the hotel to speak to the people concerned. What has happened here is a criminal issue and if you report this to the police then they will most likely take the matter in their own hands and speak to the relevant parties. It is not the hotel's job to investigate this matter so they cannot be forced to speak to these guests.

As to the hotel's liability in this matter, this is only something that would succeed if you can show that they had acted in a negligent manner. As mentioned they are only expected to try and deal with reasonably foreseeable risk and deal with it in a reasonable manner. These are not very easy to win, you have to prove causation, reasonable foreseeability, etc but it is nevertheless an argument you can raise with them.

As to getting a refund and compensation, you can of course ask for that and they may agree on something out of good customer care. But if they refuse you are really only looking at taking this to court to prove negligence and that is when things become somewhat complicated. As mentioned there is a strict legal test you need to meet to show liability on their part so you need to consider this seriously before taking the matter to the legal stage.

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?

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