Quality Inn is one of a portfolio of hotel brands currently owned by Choice Hotels International, under President and CEO Patrick Pacious. Although Choice Hotels owns the brand, individual Quality Inns are owned by smaller franchisee companies, who receive branded materials and instructions from Choice Hotels.

Quality Inn is part of Choice Hotels’ “Travel and Relax” collection, but of course, not every inn ends up being the relaxing sanctuary travelers hope for.

Below, we’ll go over common reasons you might need to sue a Quality Inn. If at any point you’d rather speak directly with a lawyer, feel free to reach out by phone or chat.

Every Hotel Should Be Maintained in Safe, Up-to-Code Condition at All Times

Quality Inn franchise owners, like all property owners who welcome guests, are responsible for anticipating potential hazards to those guests. If a hazard is foreseeable, the owner must take all reasonable steps to eliminate or minimize it, and to make guests aware of any lingering danger.

For example, a well-run, safety-conscious hotel should always have:

  • Floors free of tripping and slipping hazards
  • Sturdy handrails for any staircases and balconies
  • Clean rooms, free of dangerous pests or pathogens
  • Safe tap water temperatures
  • Working fire suppression and alarm systems
  • Clear, well-marked emergency evacuation routes

Hotel guests have a right to expect their hosts to be on top of all foreseeable safety issues, including but not limited to these essentials. At the very least, they should be able to expect the hotel not to collapse on top of them.

Unfortunately, some Quality Inns have failed at providing even this most basic form of physical safety.

In May of 2020, a section of roof spontaneously collapsed over the indoor pool of the Quality Inn & Suites in Muncie, Indiana. Thankfully, the pool area was closed at the time, but that was due to COVID-19 precautions, not because of any known safety issues with the structure itself. If that had been an ordinary May, there’s no telling how many people could have been hurt.

Five years earlier, in Val d’Or, Quebec, a section of ceiling collapsed in the hallway of a Quality Inn, hitting two guests who were standing underneath. Both sustained injuries, including a mild concussion. According to the manager, the ceiling appeared to have been installed incorrectly. One of the injured guests reported that the staff seemed more concerned with the building than with their wellbeing after the collapse occurred.

If you’ve been injured by faulty or poorly maintained construction at a Quality Inn, you very likely have a case.

Whole Parties of Guests Have Suffered CO Poisoning at Quality Inns

Any hotel with an attached garage, or any fuel-burning appliances, should be prepared to protect guests from potential carbon monoxide (CO) buildup. Hotels can do this by having the appliances serviced regularly, and by installing CO detectors in guest rooms and other likely problem spots.

CO detectors are relatively inexpensive and highly effective at protecting people from this common and deadly poison. Without a detector, CO is impossible to detect before it causes harm.

When a Quality Inn, or any hotel, neglects this safety measure, the results can be tragic.

In February of 2022, two people were found dead in a Quality Inn guest room in La Grange, Kentucky. A preliminary investigation revealed CO poisoning as a probable cause.

Five years earlier, seven children and teenagers were found unconscious in and around the pool area of a Quality Inn in Niles, Michigan. The culprit turned out to be a CO leak from a faulty pool heater. All told, 12 people suffered some level of CO poisoning before the issue was resolved, and one of the children died.

CO poisoning can progress quickly from mild flu-like symptoms to unconsciousness, followed by death. Many victims never have the chance to recognize that anything is wrong, especially if they are poisoned in their sleep. CO exposure while swimming is also especially dangerous, because swimmers who lose consciousness may drown even before their CO exposure would normally become fatal.

Neglected Water Recreation Facilities Are Extremely Dangerous for Small Children

Even without the presence of a toxic CO leak, hotel aquatics facilities can be deadly, particularly for the youngest of guests.

The standard hotel procedure of providing swimming pools and similar amenities without lifeguards, and leaving guests in charge of their own safety, is dicey at the best of times. However, some unguarded pools turn out to be much more accident-prone than others, due to a range of other safety issues.

The Quality Inn brand has been associated with some of these “problem” pools.

In 2019, the Quality Inn in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin was shut down for chronic safety issues with its pool. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection had issued repeated warnings about the safety violations, and eventually ordered the inn to block access to the pool as a condition of staying open. The full shutdown only occurred when the department found the pool was still in use.

Also in 2019, a 3-year-old boy drowned in a Quality Inn pool in Knoxville, Tennessee. He had apparently been left unattended along with three other children in his party, all under 7 years old. His death was not an isolated incident, however. Over the previous four years, two other children had also drowned in that same hotel’s pool, hot tub, or water playground. The pool area officially had a “no unaccompanied minors” rule, but it clearly wasn’t rigorously enforced, or ultimately adequate to protect these children.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a Quality Inn pool, talk to a lawyer, even if the pool had a “swim at your own risk” sign. You may still have a case.

Hotel Owners Have the Power to Affect Crime Rates on and Around Their Properties

Although premises liability is most commonly associated with accidents, property owners are also responsible for anticipating violent threats toward their guests. When the nature of a business, or the history of the surrounding area, make violent crime a foreseeable issue, the owner has a duty to institute appropriate security measures.

For a hotel, these measures might include:

  • Surveillance cameras in common areas, including parking lots
  • Photo ID requirements for check-in
  • A record of guest license plates
  • Keycard checkpoints, to restrict certain areas to registered guests only
  • Security guard presence

On the surface, it might seem unfair to hold a business responsible for the crimes of a guest or intruder, but the fact is that security-conscious management really does make a measurable difference when it comes to guest safety.

In fact, sometimes poorly managed hotels aren’t just vulnerable to crime — they’re part of the cause.

For example, Springfield Township, Ohio has been struggling for years with an abnormally high volume of 911 calls coming from their local Quality Inn, many of them involving assaults, robberies, and overdoses. The city gave the franchise owner a warning back in early 2021, but the call volume only increased in the following year. Finally, after a whopping 583 emergency calls in three years, the city forced the hotel to choose between closing down, or adopting basic security measures, including video surveillance and photo ID check-in.

During the investigation into the issue, police ended up arresting a front desk clerk for running a prostitution ring out of the inn. The franchise owner, it turned out, had also previously run another hotel in another city, with a similarly abnormal crime rate.

Sadly, this not an uncommon phenomenon. When a hotel resists making even the most affordable security upgrades, it’s often because crime is a conscious, intentional part of that hotel’s business model.

Sex Trafficking Revenue Is a Powerful Motivator for Many Negligent Hotel Owners

Lots of illegal industries rely on the use of hotel rooms, rented out by indifferent or complicit hotel managers. Drug and weapons traffickers often use hotels to store their products or meet with buyers, but the temporary privacy offered by low-security hotels is especially integral to the sex trafficking industry.

The Springfield Township location is far from the only Quality Inn to be implicated in the illegal sex trade.

In 2019, a woman sued the Quality Inn & Suites in Little Rock, Arkansas, for allegedly enabling her captivity and sexual exploitation during the summer of 2014. Her complaint describes the entire fourth floor of the hotel being reserved for sex traffickers, and all of the phones on that floor being disconnected to prevent the victims from calling for help.

That same year, two other women brought a similar suit against multiple hotels in Collier County, Florida, which they said had catered to their traffickers during 2015 and 2016. One of the hotels was the Quality Inn & Suites Gold Resort in Naples, and another was a Comfort Inn & Executive Suites — another Choice Hotels brand.

That year was a legal turning point for sex trafficking victims. Since 2019, holding hotels legally liable for their role in sex trafficking has become almost common, whereas it was nearly unheard of before.

Still, that doesn’t mean that sex trafficking in hotels is a thing of the past.

In February of 2022, two women and a man were arrested in Orlando, Florida, for allegedly sex trafficking at least three minors out of local hotels, including two separate Quality Inns.

If you’ve also been exploited for commercial sex in a Quality Inn, talk to a lawyer right away. Even if the abuse happened years ago, you may still have grounds for a suit, especially if you were underage at the time.

What to Do If You’ve Been Harmed at a Quality Inn

If you’ve been in an accident or violent altercation at a Quality Inn, you can boost your chances of receiving fair compensation by following these steps as closely as possible:

  1. Get to safety. You can’t fight for justice if you’re not around, so your first priority should be removing yourself and your loved ones from any ongoing danger.
  2. Get medical care. This not only helps protect your health going forward, it also preserves the evidence of your physical condition and establishes a timeline for your injuries.
  3. Keep track of your documentation. Photos, medical bills, receipts, text messages, anything that helps prove any part of where you were, what happened, or what it cost you, hold onto it.
  4. File an incident report. Notify the Quality Inn that you were injured on the property and when. Keep this notification brief and factual, refuse to enter into a dialogue, and keep a record of the interaction. This gives the hotel the legal obligation to preserve any evidence, such as security footage, of what happened on that day. If you were the victim of a crime, make a statement to the police as well.
  5. Refuse to cooperate with your potential opponents. If a representative of Quality Inn, Choice Hotels, or any other entity that might be liable for your injuries requests further communication with you, decline until you can refer them to your lawyer. Otherwise, you may be tricked into damaging your own case.
  6. Find a lawyer. Ideally, you will want to work with someone in your area who has experience with incidents similar to yours, and who is willing and qualified to pursue cases against franchised companies.

The Stoddard Firm has the specialized experience and passion necessary to take on negligent hotels and hotel chains. We know all the precedents for when liability can be extended beyond the local franchise owner. Whenever possible, we’ll take the fight to Choice Hotels itself, to get our clients the best possible settlement. We understand the legal protections and duties of the hospitality industry, and we have extensive experience with premises liability, negligent security, personal injury, wrongful death, and sex trafficking law.

To get started discussing your case with a hotel lawyer in Georgia, reach out at 678-RESULTS or through our online chat function for a free consultation.

Attorney Matt Stoddard

Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer Matt StoddardMatt Stoddard is a professional, hardworking, ethical advocate. He routinely faces some of the nation’s largest companies and some of the world’s largest insurers – opponents who have virtually unlimited resources. In these circumstances, Mr. Stoddard is comfortable. Mr. Stoddard provides his strongest efforts to his clients, and he devotes the firm’s significant financial resources to presenting the strongest case possible on their behalf. Matt understands that his clients must put their trust in him. That trust creates an obligation for Matt to work tirelessly on their behalf, and Matt Stoddard does not take that obligation lightly. [ Attorney Bio ]

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