Goa: Five star hotel to compensate for design fault
Monday, 09. April 2012, 19:28
A five star hotel in Goa has been told by court to compensate its guest for an injury suffered due to faulty designing of its room
Siddhartha Bhimrajka had booked several rooms in a
prominent five star resort and spa in South Goa. One of the invitees was Vinay
Rajpal, a 29-year-old businessman and his wife Ravina, reports Jehangir Gai in
‘The Times of India’.
Two days later, on the day of the wedding, they attended a
pool-side lunch. Though alcohol was served, they did not drink any. After
returning to their room, Vinay went for a shower.
The bathroom had three steps to go down to the bathing
area, with a handle bar on the right. On the second step, Vinay slipped badly
and fell on his face, resulting in severe fractures in his jaw.
Vinay was taken to the Apollo Victor Hospital, and then
flown by a chartered Air Ambulance Service to Mumbai and admitted in Jaslok
Then Vinay sent a legal notice to the hotel for
compensation, and followed up with reminders. The hotel's insurers contested
the claim and denied any negligence on the part of the hotel.
In September 2007, Vinay filed a consumer complaint before
the Goa State Consumer Commission, claiming a compensation of Rs30 lakh.
After a detailed hearing, the commission, presided over by
Justice Britto and Member Prabhudesai, on 25 January 2012, ordered the hotel to
The judgment said that photographs revealed it was a
sunken bathroom that could be used as a shower as well as a bathtub and, to
reach it, three slanting steps had to be climbed down without proper support.
As there was no support for descending the slanting polished
marble steps, the judgment concluded, the bathroom design disregarded the
safety of the guests, as even the slightest wetness on a polished marble floor
can be extremely dangerous.
The commission awarded reimbursement of medical expenses,
cost of the chartered air ambulance, notional loss of income at Rs3,750 per
month for three months, and compensation for the pain and trauma of inserting
titanium plate implants and requiring the jaw to be wired shut for 10 days.
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