833 F.2d 1521 (11th Cir. 1987), 87-3224, Meyers v. Ramada Hotel Operating Co., Inc.

Docket Nº:87-3224.
Citation:833 F.2d 1521
Party Name:Cathleen MEYERS, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. RAMADA HOTEL OPERATING COMPANY, INC., a Corporation, Tolbert Enterprises, Inc., Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:December 15, 1987
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
 
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Page 1521

833 F.2d 1521 (11th Cir. 1987)

Cathleen MEYERS, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

RAMADA HOTEL OPERATING COMPANY, INC., a Corporation, Tolbert

Enterprises, Inc., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 87-3224.

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

December 15, 1987

Page 1522

R. Larry Morris, Levin, Warfield, Middlebrooks, Mabie, Thomas, Mayes & Mitchell, Pensacola, Fla., Stephen D. Heninger, Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, Birmingham, Ala., for plaintiff-appellant.

Donald H. Partington, Michael Perkins, Clark, Partington, Hart, Larry, Bond & Stackhouse, Pensacola, Fla., for defendants-appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

Before FAY and HATCHETT, Circuit Judges, and MORGAN, Senior Circuit Judge.

PER CURIAM:

The district court ruled that the appellant failed to show a genuine issue of material fact on the issue of whether her attack at a hotel was foreseeable. Finding that a genuine issue of material fact was shown, we reverse for a jury trial.

Cathleen Meyers, the appellant, and a friend rented a room at the Ramada Inn at Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. Meyers had previously stayed at the hotel on several occasions and considered it the place to go because of its popularity with young people. The room was on the fifth floor of a six story building, known as the tower, which consisted of 194 rooms.

On August 20, 1983, at about 2:00 a.m., Meyers took an elevator from the ground floor up to the fifth floor to the hotel room to retrieve her driver's license, while her friend waited in an automobile in the parking garage. In the elevator on the way up, a man asked Meyers if he could use her restroom; she said, "No!" When the elevator doors opened on the fifth floor, Meyers went toward her room. The man initially walked in the opposite direction, but then turned around and just as Meyers was opening her door, forced his way into the room. He raped her. After a time, the man left the room. Meyers went to another room where the occupants called security and accompanied Meyers back to her room.

The Ramada Inn had employed security guards for about ten years, mainly to control noise and keep trespassers from using the pool. During the time period of this incident (2 a.m.), three security guards were on duty. One guard, Lieutenant Ashmore, patrolled the main hotel building (tower) and the pool; the other two guards patrolled the remainder of the premises. Ashmore routinely checked the building...

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