Madison - St. Clair Record

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Collinsville DoubleTree denies liability in guest’s suit alleging injuries from pool ladder

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | May 2, 2017

General court 06

A Collinsville hotel says a guest saw a defective pool ladder but failed to avoid it, causing him to cut his foot.

Bryan Whitaker filed his complaint on Feb. 16 against Colhot LLC, doing business as DoubleTree by Hilton Lodging/Hospitality Management Corp.

Whitaker alleges he was staying at the DoubleTree in Collinsville on Feb. 20, 2015, when he cut his foot while attempting to descend a swimming pool ladder.


Whitaker alleges the defendant failed to provide a safe pool ladder and failed to provide warnings of the existence of the unsafe condition.

DoubleTree by Hilton and Lodging/Hospitality Management Corporation filed separate, but similar, answers to the complaint on March 31 through attorney Joseph F. Callahan of the Law Offices of Rouse & Cary in St. Louis.

In their affirmative defenses, the defendants argue that the plaintiff’s own carelessness caused his alleged injuries by failing to exercise due care for his own safety, failing to keep a careful lookout and failing to exercise his own natural senses so as to maintain his balance and walk in a normal manner.

They also argue that the plaintiff failed to observe an open and obvious condition, claiming he saw the alleged condition and would have had time to avoid it, but failed to do so.

Whitaker seeks an award in excess of $50,000, plus court costs and any other relief the court deems just.

He is represented by J. Michael Weilmuenster and Thomas G. Zurliene of Weilmuenster & Keck PC in Belleville.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 17-L-251

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Madison County Circuit CourtWeilmuenster & Keck