United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [#17]
DENISE PAGE HOOD, United States Chief Judge
case arises out of an injury Plaintiff suffered at a
Fairfield Inn owned by Defendants. Plaintiff's
three-count Complaint alleges that Defendants: (1) violated
American with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12181 et
seq. (“ADA”) (Count I); (2) and the Michigan
Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act
(“PWDCRA”), M.C.L. § 37.1101 et
seq. (Count II); and (3) were negligent, when providing
Plaintiff with a handicap-accessible room with a roll-in
shower that had a visible depression and crack(s). Defendants
filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, Dkt. No. 17, which the
parties have fully briefed. A hearing on Defendant's
Motion was held on February I, 2017. For the reasons that
follow, the Court grants in part and denies in part
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment.
August 28, 2013, Plaintiff and her husband, Albert Pollard,
wanted to stay in a hotel in Saginaw. Plaintiff has multiple
sclerosis, utilizes a wheelchair, and requires a hotel room
with a handicap-accessible, roll-in shower. The first hotel
they tried didn't have a suitable shower, and Plaintiff
was referred to the Fairfield Inn, which was across the
parking lot from the first hotel. Plaintiff specifically
requested a handicap-accessible room with a roll-in shower.
The Fairfield Inn staff gave Plaintiff the only room it had
that satisfied those requirements.
checking into their room, Plaintiff and her husband noticed a
crack in the roll-in shower floor. As Plaintiff testified:
Q. Okay. And did you check out the room as soon as you
arrived or did you leave that to your husband.
A. No, we checked it out.
Q. Okay. And you said a minute ago that your husband asked if
there were any other available rooms. Was there something
that you-that made you decide to ask that?
Q. Okay. When you say floor, can you tell me more about that?
A. There was a crack. That doesn't sound-That's not
right. There was a hole, an indentation that was cracked. And
there were cracks that caused the floor to sink down.
Dkt. No. 17, Ex. 2 at 27-28. Plaintiff testified that she
could see the crack from her wheelchair:
A. I saw it as more of a circle area that was cracked. And I
don't know what the depth was but, clearly, and to me, it
Q. Okay. But you were able to see it from your vantage point
in your wheelchair when you inspected the room?
A. Uh-huh (Yes).
Id. at 30. Mr. Pollard echoed Plaintiff's
testimony, stating that the shower floor had several cracks
in it and the area underneath appeared to be spongy and
somewhat depressed. Dkt. No. 19, Ex. 2 at 10-11. After seeing
the condition of the roll-in shower floor, Mr. Pollard asked
the Front Desk Manager if there were any other
handicap-accessible rooms available that had a roll-in
shower. Mr. Pollard was advised that it was the only such
room at that Fairfield Inn.
and Mr. Pollard stayed in that room at the Fairfield Inn the
night of August 28, 2013. The next morning, Plaintiff
utilized the shower in the condition described above. With
help from her caretaker, Plaintiff got into her shower chair,
which was rolled into the shower. The caretaker has testified
that, while rinsing off Plaintiff's back, the front leg
of the shower chair “seemed to sink down then slip,
rotating out from under her.” Dkt. No. 19, Ex. 6.
Plaintiff fell to the floor and fractured her hip. Plaintiff
had surgery to repair the fracture and spent five days in the
hospital before returning home. Plaintiff states that she had
to undergo in-home physical therapy, received daily
injections of a parathyroid hormone to increase calcium
uptake in her bones, and continues to have residual issues
associated with the fall.
employees of the Fairfield Inn, including the Front Desk
Manager, General Manager, Assistant Manager, and housekeeping
and maintenance staff were aware of the condition of the
handicap-accessible, roll-in shower floor. Dkt. No. 19, Ex. 5
at 5-9. The General Manager testified that he had reported
the condition to the corporate level and was told to continue
make the room available to guests while looking for a vendor
to fix the condition. Dkt. No. 19, Ex. 3 at 7-8, 12. Two
photographs attached to Plaintiff's response brief show