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Feeling Gloomy...

Over Thanksgiving break, my husband broke his leg. Since then, we've learned that the law in the state where he broke his leg is structured to make it very difficult to force a company to pay the expenses from something like this. Since the hotel wasn't forced to pay -- they chose not to. Even though they had clearly placed tables in the path of a tripping hazzard. Even though they had to know people stumbled over the hazzard every day (two different people volunteered how they had stumbled over the same thing that made my husband fall and we weren't taking a poll or anything.)

I wondered why they wouldn't have done something about it long ago. Now I know. The law basically protects the hotels in NC. A lawyer told us that in order for us to find a lawyer to take on this law, we'd have to be suing for a lot of money (not just expenses) because the lawyer would have to hire an investigator in order to prove the hazzard (though he fully expected the investigation would find it was a hazzard -- heck, everyone knew it was a hazzard. No one at any point was confused about it being a freaking tripping hazzard.) I don't want to sue for a lot of money. I don't want to do something I know is wrong just because they are doing something I know is wrong.

Anyone would stumble where my husband did. Almost certainly everyone walking in the pool door and heading straight for a table stumbled at least a little. But only someone physically compromised would be strongly likely to fall and would be injured as badly as my husband (the doctor said he normally saw breaks like the one my huband got in car accidents, not falls).

Anyway, my old bear is long legged. It took a LONG time to get transport home because he was not allowed to bend that leg. He wouldn't fit crosswise in the backseat of our car. Thankfully, dear friends drove us home in a van, but we had to wait until after the holiday. We were trapped at the hotel.

As we checked out, they presented us with a bill for $1000 for our stay. A stay that was only supposed to be 2 nights until they broke my husband's leg. It was then that I got that sick sinking feeling that we were screwed, but I tried to keep hope. But...the hotel's insurance turned down all the bills we've turned in so far (including the bill for our extended stay and the bill for the ambulance ride.) They don't have to pay, so they won't.

I contacted corporate since Holiday Inn Express is a big chain. Surely they don't want their company to look this bad? They broke a disabled guy's leg and then CHARGED HIM FOR IT. They pointed us back to the local hotel who has already shown they don't have to pay so they won't. The local didn't bother to contact us.

My husband says we can't go back to NC again...it's too dangerous. Since I have friends and family there, that's a tough call. Naturally, we'll never stay in another Holiday Inn Express. And this has hoovered up our savings. But ultimately it's done something far more emotionally painful. Somehow, despite being almost 50 years old, I had managed to hold onto the smallest belief that in a situation where the right thing is obvious, most folks will do the right thing.

I was shown to be a fool.
Maybe that shouldn't be important, but somehow it really is.
One of the ways we feel safe in the world is by having a certain amount of faith...sure, faith in God, but also faith that people are...given half a chance...willing to rise to the ocassion. So I guess I feel foolish and a little less safe in the world.

Thanks Holiday Inn Express for showing me I'm an aging fool and that the world my little girl is growing up in is growing less kind every day. Thanks for making me a little more afraid. You know, maybe the commercials about how the Holiday Inn Express makes you smarter are true -- they sure taught me a lesson.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 25th, 2011 04:04 pm (UTC)
Jan, God is whispering to me to show you a little kindness.

Could you please e-mail me your address? lisaschroederbooks at gmail dot com

I'm so sorry all of that happened to you. I hope you do get back to NC again someday, it would be so sad if you didn't.
Jan. 25th, 2011 04:15 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry. Perhaps you could write this story for the newspaper and let the holiday inn know your intent.

(but Lisa seems to have an idea so I will keep my fingers crossed for that! xo)
Jan. 25th, 2011 04:51 pm (UTC)
I'm at j.fields at janfields dot com

I do think I need to do at least a letter to the editor in the town where the Holiday Inn exists. Folks need to know because the hotel has no reason to fix the tripping hazzard (unless the insurance company at least pressured them that much...I hope they did.) What if someone even more fragile than Mark fell and cracked their skull? I would feel terrible if I didn't at least try to make enough noise to where they fix the problem.

If we LIVED in the area, I'd call all the media I could...but I've worked with newspapers and I know that they need photos for a story and the tv needs film and we can't offer either since we live in CT and the story is really in NC.

Anyway, the upset of this has been playing heck with my work output, but I just can't seem to get past it emotionally. It's upset me all out of proportion to the broken leg (though I hate to see my old bear hurt. Plus, he felt so bad about ruining *my* holiday that he cried. It makes me furious that they made my old bear cry and then CHARGED us for it.)

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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