May 16, 2013

Contact:  Eric W. Boyer, Esq.
Managing Partner/Operations
(305) 670-1101 Ext. 1023

Negligence – Elevator Malfunction Liability

Ryan C. Meade

ST. CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands ― Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. (QPWB) trial attorney Ryan C. Meade, a partner in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Miami offices of QPWB, obtained a defense verdict for his client, the Divi Carina Bay Hotel and Casino. The Claimant brought negligence charges against the casino seeking significant damages for injuries she allegedly sustained during an “elevator door slamming” incident that occurred upon entering the Casino’s elevator.
According to the Claimant’s testimony, the elevator door first slammed closed on her head and arms. Thereafter, it allegedly opened and again slammed closed, this time hitting her knee.
Following an American Arbitration Association hearing, given the monumental weight of the evidence in favor of the Divi Hotel and Casino and the clear evidence of fraud in the Claimant’s allegations, the presiding Arbitrator determined there was no liability on the part of Respondent, Divi and entered a finding in its favor.
Additionally, the Arbitrator (after finding that an award of attorneys’ fees and costs, was permitted under the Arbitration Agreement and applicable Virgin Islands law), determined that such an award was warranted given the frivolous nature of Claimant’s allegations, which necessitated a vigorous defense. Taking into consideration Claimant’s demand and allegations (including, among other things, the projected cost of future medical expenses sought by the Claimant, the amount of litigation put forth by the parties, the extent of defense that the Divi Hotel and Casino was required to mount, and all factors pertaining to the reasonableness of the fees and costs expended), the Arbitrator awarded the Divi Hotel and Casino $55,935.99 in attorney’s fees and $4,434.77 in costs (which included the administrative fees of the American Arbitration Association and the expenses of the Arbitrator).

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