Back in October of 2008, Jeff and Nan Lawrence brought their family from Enid, Oklahoma to the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club in order to celebrate the sixth birthday of their twin sons, Luke and Michael. Instead of getting the first floor room they wanted—none were available—the family checked into one on the second floor. According to records, the next morning, Mrs. Lawrence opened the hotel room’s window in order to hear the waves and moments later, Michael broke through the screen, falling to the concrete below. The boy suffered major brain injuries from the accident.
This past October 31, a three-judge panel of the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed a prior summary judgment that a Superior Court judge here in San Diego had entered in favor of the resort. Originally, this had brought the lawsuit to an end.
At the crux of the suit is a claim that the resort was negligent by not installing child safety devices on their rooms’ windows. Though other angles are at play, the Lawrences are claiming the hotel is responsible for what happened to their son, who apparently has fallen behind in school as a result of his injury six years ago.
It’s an interesting legal issue that has been brought up before all over the country. In fact, it’s shocking to find out how common this problem is: 14 children a day, on average, will need to be treated in a hospital for an injury related to falling out a window.
The hotel’s argument is, essentially, that the windows complied with the relevant codes and are never meant to act as a safety device.
Obviously, you can’t be too careful where your children’s safety is concerned, though that’s not to say who’s to blame in this case. Amongst other things, though, this lawsuit should help illustrate how important it always is to speak to an attorney after an accident so you’re aware what your options are for moving forward.