After weighing the merits of a celebrity’s $850,000 slip-and-fall claim against a Syracuse-area hotel, an Onondaga jury returned a full defense verdict for Goldberg Segalla’s client.
Traveling to give a speech October 20, 2012, Jacqueline Del Rosario—also known as “America’s Marriage Coach”—checked into a hotel and proceeded to give herself a sponge bath. She claimed she had a hard time getting into the Jacuzzi in her room, however, and then allegedly fell and hurt herself trying to get out. A year later she sued the hotel, claiming the tub was improperly installed.
As her six-year legal dispute with the hotel drew to a close in December 2019, Del Rosario was demanding a settlement of $850,000.
The defense verdict signaled a decisive victory for Goldberg Segalla partner Kenneth M. Alweis, a trial attorney and key partner in Goldberg Segalla’s Retail and Hospitality practice group, among others. Alweis’s successful defense of the hotel turned primarily on the testimony of his final witness, an architect specializing in hotel design, including rooms with hot tubs and Jacuzzis. The installation of the Jacuzzi in question met manufacturer standards, the architect testified. The Onondaga County jury agreed.
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