Nevada limits the liability of hotels for personal injuries and damage to guest property. Hotels are big business in Nevada, they employ around 1/3 of all Nevadan residents. They contribute a significant portion to the Nevadan state budget and they are responsible for the majority of tourism to the state.

In short, hotels and casinos are big business in Nevada and they have the influence that comes with the territory.

No liability for damaged belongings

Nevada law specifically immunizes hotels from liability for any “theft, loss, damage or destruction of any property of a guest left in a room,” if the hotel provided the guest with a safe, makes the guest aware of the safe and the guest did not deposit the belongings in the vault for safekeeping.

Hotels need only provide a safe environment and make the guest aware of that to be immune from liability. The only exception is if the plaintiff is able to show that the hotel owner behaved in a “grossly negligent” manner.

In a traditional negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to act in a certain manner, the defendant violated that duty and that violation resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries.

In a grossly negligent lawsuit, the plaintiff must show that the defendant behaved with reckless disregard for the plaintiff’s safety. It requires the plaintiff to establish that the defendant knew his or her conduct was well beyond the bounds of accepted human behavior. This is a very difficult standard to meet.

Injury caused by non-employee

As a general rule, hotel owners are not liable for injuries sustained by their guests which are caused by non-employees. For example, guests who are attacked in the parking lot by random people cannot sue the hotel.

But plaintiffs may hold the hotel liable if they can show that the injury / wrongful act was foreseeable and establish that the hotel owner did not exercise due care for the safety of their guests.

In Nevada, “due care” means that the hotel provided reasonable security accommodations for the perceived threat. In practice, that means hotels do not have to provide security cameras in hotel towers. But it does mean that casinos need to hire bouncers and security guards for bars and nightclubs.

Whether or not an event is “foreseeable” depends as much on the law as it does on the facts.