Davisburg, MI asked in Consumer Law, Products Liability, Environmental and Landlord - Tenant for Michigan

Q: I stayed in a hotel for 118 days this year that was shut down by the fire marshal because they didn’t replace a panel

Saying it would just be a couple days all they had to do was replace a panel they forgot to but when the fire marshal returned when the panel was replaced he did a fuller inspection and found the dryer was so full of lint it was actually all the way up in the ceiling going about 40 feet back. This laundry room was directly across from my room and I could’ve died in my sleep any night there. The fire marshal kept them closed down from I believe June 1st just until last week August 15 after they cleaned out the lint. Is there any type of case that I have? Not looking for a payday but I spend about 200 days out of the year in hotel rooms the last 5-6 years I just happen to be at one for that long because it was during quarantine but any time the public trust is broken in a way like that I don’t just like to see them get away with it open back up for business and repeat the same thing over and over.

1 Lawyer Answer
Trent Harris
Trent Harris
  • Jackson, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Dear Davisburg,

Your question references a condition at the property which could've, but in actuality did not adversely affect you. In the eyes of the law, you lack standing to sue, because you have not suffered a particularized injury traceable to the hotel's conduct. Sure, you might've been frustrated by staying in a hotel that could've posed a danger to you. That danger was greater than what would've been posed by a hotel that was in full compliance with all laws and safety regulations. But that is not an injury the law intends to compensate.

The closest thing you have is a consumer claim for false/deceptive marketing. For example, did the hotel represent to you that it was in full compliance with all relevant codes and regulations, and because it wasn't, the amount of money you paid for your hotel stays was more than you should've paid? How much would a reasonable consumer pay to stay in a hotel that has some code or safety issues, versus a hotel that doesn't? Do people get a refund if the exercise room has a machine that doesn't work? Or if the hotel misses putting chlorine in the pool one day?

Really, this isn't something a lawyer is going to get involved with, and you should move on. It would be best for you to vote with your voice, and your feet if necessary. Tell the hotel how this episode impacted you, and see if they would be willing to give you a concession like a free night's stay in the future. If they don't want to make it up to you (even though the complaint is pretty minor), then you have every right to take your business elsewhere.

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