2006 Code of Virginia § 35.1-28 - Liability

35.1-28. Liability.

A. It shall be the duty of any person owning or operating a hotel to exercisedue care and diligence in providing honest and competent employees and totake reasonable precautions to protect the persons and property of the guestsof the hotel. No hotel shall be held liable in a sum greater than $300 forthe loss of any wearing apparel, baggage, or other property not hereinaftermentioned belonging to a guest when such loss takes place from the room orrooms occupied by the guest. Unless the loss shall take place from the officeof the hotel after the valuables are deposited there, no hotel shall beliable for any loss by any guest of jewelry, money, or other valuables oflike nature belonging to any guest if the hotel shall have posted in the roomor rooms of the guest in a conspicuous place, and in the office of the hotel,a notice stating that jewelry, money, and other valuables of like nature mustbe deposited in the office of the hotel. The hotel shall not be obligated toreceive from any one guest for deposit in such office any propertyhereinbefore described exceeding a total value of $500.

B. Each guest's room shall have suitable locks on its doors and windowsunless permanently secured. If a guest fails to lock the doors or windows ofhis room, the hotel shall not be liable for any property taken from the roomin consequence of such failure on the part of the guest. The burden of proofshall be upon the operator of the hotel to show that he complied with theprovisions of this section and that the guest failed to comply with theserequirements.

C. In the case of loss by fire or overwhelming disaster, a hotel shallexercise ordinary and reasonable care in the custody of the baggage or otherproperty of its guests, but in no case shall the hotel's liability exceed$250 to any one guest unless the negligence of the hotel was the cause of thefire or overwhelming disaster.

D. No liability shall attach to any hotel for the baggage, hats, umbrellas,coats, or other wearing apparel of a guest until the same is placed by theguest in the actual custody of an employee of the hotel. The mere depositingof such baggage, hats, umbrellas, coats, or other wearing apparel inside thehotel shall not be construed as putting in actual custody until taken incharge by the hotel or its employee, or properly placed in a room or roomsassigned to the guest.

E. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed so as to change oralter the principles of law concerning a hotel's liability to a guest orother person for personal injury, nor to exempt in anywise the owner oroperator of a hotel from being liable for the value of any property of gueststaken or stolen from any room therein by any employee or agent of the hotel.

F. A notice of the provisions of this section shall be posted conspicuouslyin each guest's room.

(Code 1950, 35-10, 35-11, 35-12, 35-13; 1981, c. 468.)


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