O'Malley v. Hospitality Staffing SolutionsAnnotate this Case
A woman checked into a hotel room in the early evening. She did not answer her husband’s calls for several hours. He suspected that she may have been injured. The husband called the hotel and a maintenance worker checked the room. The worker reported that no one was there. Hours later, the husband went to the hotel room and found his wife lying on the floor. She had suffered a brain aneurism. The couple sued the hotel and the maintenance worker’s employer (a staffing agency) for negligence. The agency filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that it owed no legal duty to the married couple. The trial court granted the motion and the couple appealed. Ordinarily, a person has no legal duty to come to the aid of another; however, if that person does, and does so without exercising reasonable care, the person coming to the aid of the other may be responsible for any damages caused under a “negligent undertaking” theory of liability. The Court of Appeal could not say as a matter of law that the maintenance worker owed no legal duty; there were triable issues of material fact such that the trial court improperly granted summary judgment and reverse.