Jump to content
FormerLegalSecy

Relative Injured in a Hotel Shower While on a Job Interview

Recommended Posts

A relative of mine was brought to a company's main HQ for a 2-day job interview in KANSAS and the prospective employer put her up overnight in a hotel.

 

While she was in the shower the morning of the 2nd day she said a sudden burst of boiling hot water came out of the shower nozzle with no warning.  She had already been in the shower for at least 5 minutes and the water had not been anywhere near that hot up until then.  She had already washed her hair and had put conditioner in it.  She stood under the shower nozzle to rinse the conditioner out and a sudden burst of boiling hot water instantly scalded the whole top of her head.  She said she inadvertently screamed and jumped backwards and then scrambled out of the shower.  She stood there a little stunned and in pain for a few minutes & then reached in and turned off the shower. She says she doesn't remember whether it was still scalding hot when she reached in to turn it off or not.  She says she was crying and almost kind of in shock.  She said it was hard to think straight, but her main thought was that she couldn't be late for day 2 of the job interview.  She got dressed and checked out and went to the scheduled breakfast meeting with wet hair and a burned scalp but she didn't say anything about the shower incident because she didn't want to "ruin her interview." 

 

I asked if she notified the hotel and she said no because the company that was interviewing her was paying the bill and she didn't want to make any trouble. (This makes me wonder if anyone else got hurt by the malfunctioning shower, or might get hurt in the future because the hotel still might not realize it's malfunctioning.)

 

I saw her today and there is a huge blister that covers most of the top of her head. You can't see it without looking through her hair because she has long hair.  She says it still hurts.  I asked if she has been to a dr. and she said no because she can't afford it, and she doesn't have a regular dr. anyway.  She said she can't afford to go to urgent care, and claims she doesn't need a dr.

 

I disagree.  I think she needs to see a dr. and the hotel ought to pay the bill for whatever medical care she might need.  She says it is too late now  anyway, and nobody will believe it happened at the hotel because she didn't say anything to anybody when it happened.

 

I told her I would pay her dr. bill if the hotel doesn't, but I think she needs to see a dr. either way.  It doesn't look good and she is still in pain. For all I know it might get infected or cause all her hair fall out where the blister is or something, which is the whole top of her head.

 

Is she right that it is too late now to report it and submit her medical bills to the hotel?

 

She still doesn't want to say anything to the hotel because she hasn't heard back about the job interview yet, and she doesn't want to do anything that might hurt her chances of getting the job.  I think she is also afraid she might get in trouble for not having health insurance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, FormerLegalSecy said:

Is she right that it is too late now to report it and submit her medical bills to the hotel?

 

No. Reporting it right away would have been ideal, of course, but better late than never. She needs to get to a doctor right away both for treatment and to help provide good evidence of the damage that was done. Reporting it late will increase skepticism that the incident occurred at the hotel rather than someplace else, but that is not necessarily impossible to overcome. The hotel insurer might pay any way to avoid the costs of litigating it out. 

 

20 minutes ago, FormerLegalSecy said:

She still doesn't want to say anything to the hotel because she hasn't heard back about the job interview yet, and she doesn't want to do anything that might hurt her chances of getting the job.  I think she is also afraid she might get in trouble for not having health insurance.

 

The employer isn't going to care about a complaint to the hotel unless the employer happens to own the hotel. She can't get into any real trouble for not having health insurance now that the Congress a year ago repealed the individual mandate. Her risk is that she'll have a medical problem (like this one) that she cannot afford to pay to get treated while she lacks insurance. She has a  number of options to get subsidized or free health insurance if she has little or no income, including the state medicaid plan. Any health insurance would likely be better than having nothing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, FormerLegalSecy said:

Is she right that it is too late now to report it and submit her medical bills to the hotel?

 

Unless I missed it in your post, you didn't tell us how long ago this occurred, so there's no way to answer this question intelligently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be surprised if any of us haven't experienced a rapid change in water temperature while in the shower at some point in our lives. It isn't necessarily the result of any sort of plumbing malfunction. Second degree burns are pretty uncommon though. Water would need to be around 150 degrees to cause a near instantaneous second degree burn. Were there burns to the rest of her body? Water that hot would cause more than just the top of her head to burn.

 

She should file a report with the hotel. I agree that it makes no sense that she wouldn't have reported this when it happened or why she thinks this would have any affect on her employment prospects. Showing up at the interview with wet hair (which sounds like would have happened either way- her hair wouldn't be drier after a cooler shower than a hot one), particularly with no explanation, probably hurt her chances more than anything. That isn't on the hotel though.

 

If she never sought any medical care and had no damages as a result, there isn't much the hotel can do for her. She didn't pay for the room so they can't refund her stay. They might as a good will gesture off a free night or some other offering. Liability isn't assessed based on what "might" have happened or what "could" happen in the future. The late reporting will raise red flags and it will be difficult to prove a week later that the injury was the result of the shower. Certainly if she is concerned about the wound, she should be seen by a health care professional. ERs at public hospitals will treat anyone who walks in the door. Some urgent care centers will as well as health clinics offered by the local health department.

 

Ultimately though, it is HER decision. If she is unwilling to pursue it, there isn't anything you can do about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...