Expert Witness Explains Hotel Liability for Negligence of Franchisee


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Hotel owners and franchisees have a relationship that benefits the brand behind the hotel. However, when the franchisee engages in activity that may lead to litigation, the hotel could be liable for these actions and an expert witness may be needed for the court case.

Hotels are often run by someone that has started a new franchise venture. He or she could have worked for the primary hotel previously, or he or she could have income to invest. However, some hotels are branded into the memory and minds of the public. When the name is synonymous with green technology, certain amenities or customer service, it only takes one franchisee to cause problems for the brand. If a hotel guest is injured while on the property, destruction of the building or other items occurs or similar concerns transpire, the primary hotel may be liable when the franchisee is unable to resolve these matters.

Some matters happen due to negligence. This may be through the inactivity of the owner, by not having the property security equipment or proper safety protocols are not followed. Typically, these lawsuits arise due to either physical or personal belonging damage or harm. If someone’s car has been wrecked with thousands in repairs, the owner could be liable for these issues. When these cases arise, it is important to seek an expert witness to explain to the judge or jury how the franchisee was liable for negligence in the situation. This may also be due to how the event was handled such as not seeking medical attention or contacting the proper authorities.

How Negligence of the Franchisee Affects the Company

When there is an incident, the public does not usually understand that the franchisee may be responsible, and thus the ire and negative attitude of the consumer may be directed at the entire franchise itself. This means the brand is weakened due to the negligence of the person that owns a franchise of the greater whole. In certain circumstances, this could lead to litigation against the franchisor that has permitted the individual to run a portion of the overall company. The possible issues he or she could face may include negligence, discrimination and assault that a franchisee has participated in or let happen.

The franchisee is considered an independent contractor that has not relationship with the greater company and he or she should be entirely responsible and held accountable for daily operations, transactions and complications that arise through his or her business. However, when the this person that manages the franchise has let a crime happen, has not repaired issues and injuries occur or when someone is harmed in other circumstances, he or she may have been negligent in his or her duty that is owed to the customer or guests in the hotel. Some of these protocols call for cameras, appropriate lighting, staff members available at all hours and similar concerns.

The Expert Witness in Negligence Cases

When the lawyer needs assistance with the case for evidence details, connecting liability to the correct party and other matters, an expert witness is often hired. This professional has the practical experience, knowledge and understanding of various concerns that are relevant to the claim. He or she may explain how the franchisee was negligent in his or her duties in keeping the parking lot reasonably lit so accidents may be avoided. The professional may detail that injuries would have been prevented if adequate rails or support was placed around stairs and steeper steps. Additionally, these persons may be able to provide to the court that security cameras may have given an ability to discover the culprit in theft and robbery crimes.

The expert witness may be needed to ensure that the franchisee is held accountable for the incident rather than the franchisor who owns the company or that gave permission for the franchisee to run the hotel. Many issues that arise through negligence involve injuries, and this means medical treatment, surgery, medication, therapy and time. To become whole after serious incidents, the victim needs compensation so that he or she may move on after being harmed. In certain instances, this means that an expert witness is hired to present various pieces of evidence and information to the judge or jury panel. With his or her testimony, it may be possible to establish that the franchisee is liable for damages due to his or her negligence in the matter. If he or she did nothing or not enough, a successful outcome may be proven.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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