File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

An Analysis Of Hotels Can Not Escape Valet Parking Liability

What does it mean to be careless when hosting? It refers to the incapacity of a place or hotel to uphold its duty of care or to take the required safety measures to ensure the guests' well-being. If the injured party can show that you did not act appropriately to resolve the matter, they will only be eligible for compensation if they can show that you were aware of the risky circumstances.

What Does The Duty Of Care Entail?

When conducting business or communicating with another person or entity in any other capacity, an individual or organization owes them a duty of care. A person or organization has a duty of care to behave in a way that would be anticipated of a prudent person, according to tort law. The individual who breached their duty of care is liable for any harm that another person sustains as a result of another person's thoughtless or reckless behavior. Any behavior that a person or group may reasonably be anticipated to damage other people ought to be avoided. This responsibility is referred to as a "duty of care".

Hotels are expected, like other companies, to give their customers a safe space to avoid injury. This means keeping an eye on how employees deal with visitors and taking responsibility for their clients' security to ensure that they are neither irresponsible nor thoughtless.

A Duty Of Care Is Owed When?

The idea of foreseeability is where the concept of a duty of care originated. In the case of Heaven v. Pender (1883)[i], Brett M.R. stated the following:

"An obligation to exert adequate precautions and expertise to avoid such a risk arises where a single person is placed in a situation involving another person that is so difficult that is of common sense who did think would at once comprehend that if he did not use common care and competence in his behaviour those instances, he would cause jeopardy of injury to the person or property of the other."

The court's decisions in Heaven v. Pender (previous)[ii] and Le Lievre v. Gould[iii] were approved in Donoghue v. Stevenson (1932)[iv], Lord Atkin remarked:

The first inquiry a lawyer asks is, "Who is my neighbour?" For the time being, the law forbids you from causing harm to your neighbour and offers a limited recourse. You must take appropriate measures to stop any behaviour that you would reasonably anticipate endangering your neighbour. So who lives next door to my in-laws? The correct response seems to be: "Person(s) who are so profoundly and closely influenced through my act that I ought substantially to have them taken into account as being thus impacted when I concentrate my mind on the behaviours or actions which are called into question."

How To Show Negligence

You must prove the hotel's negligence to establish its liability for your personal injury claim. This suggests that you will need to demonstrate both how the hotel violated its obligation to keep you safe and how that violation caused you harm.

It is the hotel's responsibility to maintain and inspect the property's grounds. They have to act to get rid of any dangerous situations or, at the absolute least, shield guests from harm. A notice alerting guests to the possibility of water on the floor must be posted by the hotel if a pipe leak into a hallway cannot be fixed right away. A hotel must maintain clear stairs, have adequate lighting, and abide by all applicable laws. To avoid tripping, make sure the steps are dry and free of ice, debris, and other potential hazards.

Hotels must keep their buildings secure, manage insect infestations, employ workers with due caution, teach pool personnel to avoid mishaps, and maintain the condition of their room locks. The hotel's top priorities while guests are staying there are their safety and the protection of their belongings. The components you usually need to present to successfully file a personal injury lawsuit against a hotel are covered in this article.

How To Establish A Hotel's Negligence

In the majority of personal injury cases, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the harm they endured was caused by the negligence or misconduct of another individual. To legally hold the hotel liable for injuries you suffered on the premises, you will probably have to present proof of some kind of negligence. To accomplish this, you will have to present proof that the hotel violated an obligation owed to you and that your injuries were the consequence of the violation.

Case Law
In its ruling in the case of Taj Mahal Hotel v. United India Insurance Company Ltd. & Ors[v], the Apex Court issued its decision on November 14, 2019.

The Court ruled that under no circumstances may a hotel owner bargain their way out of responsibility for their negligence or the fault of their employees about a guest's vehicle.

Facts of the case
At approximately 11 p.m. on August 1, 1998, a man drove his Maruti Zen to the Taj Mahal Hotel. He gave the key to the valet parking staff when he arrived at the hotel and went inside. He was later informed by the hotel administration that his car had been stolen as he was leaving the establishment at one in the morning.

Three teenagers drove up in a different car that evening, parked it, and entered the hotel, according to a statement from the establishment. They waited for a while before coming out and having the valet retrieve their vehicle from the parking lot. While the Maruti Zen was being transported, one of them grabbed the keys and drove off in it. Despite the security guard's best efforts, the car drove away.

The owner of the car found out and reported it to the authorities, but they were unable to locate the vehicle. Because the parking voucher stated that it was at the "owner's risk," the hotel declined to pay the full value of the car as well as compensation for the lack of services, even though the car insurance had settled the claim with the individual.

Following a hearing on the case, the State Commission first mandated that the hotel pays Rs 50,000 in litigation costs to the car's insurer, Rs 2,80,000 for the car's value, plus 12% interest per year. The commission also mandated that the hotel pay the car owner Rs. 1,000,000 in compensation.

The National Commission denied the hotel's appeal as well. Its appeal was then heard by the Supreme Court. The highest court, however, also rejected the hotel's appeal.

Courts Decision
Following a hearing on the matter, the court declared: "Under no circumstances may the hotel owner enter into a contract regarding a guest's vehicle out of obligation for its negligence or the fault of its staff. Once custody is turned over to the hotel staff or valet, there is an implied contractual obligation to return the car in a secure condition at the owner's discretion.

Under Sections 151 and 152 of the Contract Act[1], the hotel has an assumed burden of proof to show that any damage or loss to the parked cars was not caused by its carelessness or negligence, even in the case of a specific or general exclusion clause. The exemption clause cannot take effect until this burden of proof has been removed. The hotel will also bear the responsibility of proving that such loss or wreckage was covered by the exclusion clause.

The Supreme Court ruled that the hotel had to explain why it was not negligent or at fault for not returning the car to its rightful owner. The top court decided that even though valet parking is offered by upscale hotels, those establishments cannot escape responsibility if a guest's vehicle is lost, stolen, or destroyed.

When a hotel voluntarily agrees to park an owner's car, store it in its safekeeping, and return it after receiving a parking receipt in a manner that takes control of the vehicle's parking away from the owner, that arrangement is known as a contract of bailment. Thus, the Supreme Court held that the hotel would have to give the car back in the same condition that it was delivered.

You could be eligible for compensation if you can show that a hotel was negligent and that your harm was caused by this carelessness. For several reasons, hotels might be held liable for tourist harm. You might be able to get compensation for losses such as pain and suffering, medical costs, missed income, psychological discomfort, and companionship.

  1. Indian Contract Act, 1872, No. 9, Act of Parliament, 1872 (India)
  2. Heaven v. Pender (1883)11 QBD 503 at 509
  3. Heaven v. Pender (1883)11 QBD 503 at 509
  4. Le Lievre v. Gould (1893) 1 QB 491 at 497
  5. Donoghue v. Stevenson (1932) AC 562 at 581
  6. Taj Mahal Hotel v. United India Insurance Company Ltd. & Ors (Civil Appeal No 8611 of 2019)

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly