Alcala v. Marriott International, Inc.

Posted on: September 30th, 2015

Marriott appealed a jury verdict which awarded Plaintiff damages for a slip and fall at the Marriott hotel in Bettendorf, IA.  Marriott argued the jury should have been instructed on the “continuing storm doctrine,” which generally allows businesses, landlords, carriers, or other inviters to wait until the end of a storm and a reasonable time thereafter to remove ice and snow from a walkway.  The Court of Appeals agreed finding that Marriott had submitted sufficient evidence to support the instruction including climatological data from two weather stations, a weather report showing freezing rain and fog had occurred over the area the day prior to the injury, and testimony from at least one witness.  The Court of Appeals also agreed with Marriott that the district court erred by instructing the jury on private industry safety standards and submitting a specification accusing Marriott of negligence in training its employees.  It found that there was not substantial evidence to submit these questions to the jury.  The case was reversed and remanded for a new trial.

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