Hotels indeed owe their guests a duty of care, says Supreme Court

The hotel was managed by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, which had appealed to the Supreme Court against the Commission’s order.

Published: 29th March 2019 08:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th March 2019 08:41 AM   |  A+A-

Supreme Court

Supreme Court (File Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: A Bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud slapped an additional interest of nine per cent on Hotel Samudra at Kovalam. EVEN the National Consumer Commission had held there was a deficiency of service on the part of the hotel management, primarily for the reason the lifeguard on duty had been assigned the task of a bartender.

The hotel was managed by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation, which had appealed to the Supreme Court against the Commission’s order. Agreeing with the Commission’s views, the top court was categorical that a hotel cannot shirk its responsibility of maintaining the swimming pool and assuring the safety of its patrons and said: “Since the facility of a swimming pool was available for use by the guests of the hotel, there was a close and proximate relationship between the management involving the maintenance of safe conditions in the pool and guests of the hotel using the pool.”

“A hotel which provides a swimming pool for its guests owes a duty of care. The duty of care arises from the fact that unless the pool is properly maintained and supervised by trained personnel, it’s likely to become a potential source of hazard and danger. Every guest who enters the pool may not have the same level of proficiency as a swimmer,” said the court, adding that the hotel management can reasonably foresee the consequence that may arise if the pool and its facilities are not properly maintained.

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