Jillian Groh v. Westin Operator, LLC, 2012COA189 (November 1, 2012)

This post describes the opinion that was withdrawn. See HERE for the summary of the new opinion in which the opposite conclusion was reached.

This story ends with a drunk driving accident that killed one and put another into a vegetative state. It started with a night on the town that ended at a hotel to avoid drunk driving. The hotel, not wanting 7 loud drunk people in a room rented for 3, evicted the group, who then got into a car with a drunk driver. Plaintiff, who rented the room and was a passenger, sued the hotel, claiming it unreasonably failed to prevent her accident (nonfeasance). The trial court dismissed and the court of appeals agreed. The majority held that because she was evicted, the hotel did not owe her a special duty of care, and it did not take affirmative action to assume a duty of care. The court also held that the hotel did not have sufficient control to prevent the accident. The dissent would not have dismissed the case on summary judgment because disputed facts could have established a duty of care.

Prior Opinion Announced November 1, 2012, WITHDRAWN Petition for Rehearing GRANTED Furman, J., would DENY



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