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PERRIN v. HILTON INTL.

July 7, 1992

RANDOLPH B. PERRIN and MARLENA MIDDLETON, Plaintiffs,
v.
HILTON INTERNATIONAL, INC. and THE NEW YORK VISTA, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SHIRLEY WOHL KRAM

 SHIRLEY WOHL KRAM, U.S.D.J.

 In this diversity action arising from defendants' alleged failure to properly register one of their hotel's guests, defendants move, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, for an order dismissing plaintiffs' negligence and consortium claims. Plaintiffs oppose the motion.

 BACKGROUND1

 Plaintiff Marlena Middleton ("Middleton") and her husband, plaintiff Randolph B. Perrin ("Perrin"), reside in Maryland. On January 24, 1991, Middleton registered as a guest at the Vista hotel ("Vista") in New York City. Complaint, at P14. Perrin telephoned the Vista at least eight times between 7:00 P.M., January 24th, and 2:35 A.M., January 25th, on each occasion requesting to speak to his wife. Complaint, at P26. The complaint alleges that, due to an error by the Vista's employees, Perrin was incorrectly informed that his wife had not registered as a guest. Complaint, at P19. Perrin repeatedly requested that the Vista check its registration lists both by computer and manually. Complaint, at P22. The Vista insisted on each occasion that its computer and manual search confirmed that Middleton had not registered. Complaint, at PP22, 34. Additionally, according to the complaint, "the language and tone of defendants became more abusive, hostile, and belligerent and in reckless disregard for [Perrin's] concerns and sensibilities." Complaint, at P24.

 Perrin proceeded to telephone the New York City police and the New York City Emergency Medical Service ("EMS") in an attempt to locate his wife. Complaint, at PP27, 31. An EMS employee informed Perrin that EMS had picked up two women fitting the description of his wife. Complaint, at P32. Both women had been murdered and one had also been raped. Id. Perrin then called the Vista again, and the manager confirmed that Middleton had not registered. Complaint, at P34. Consequently, Perrin decided to travel to New York to investigate. Complaint, at P37. Just before travelling to New York, however, Perrin learned from the Vista that it had located his wife. Complaint, at P38. Plaintiffs contend that the hotel manager subsequently admitted that defendants could not locate Middleton because the Vista had inadvertently misspelled Middleton's name in the computer. Complaint, at P43.

 DISCUSSION

 I. Standard for Motion to Dismiss

 In considering a motion to dismiss, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a complaint must be read generously and every inference drawn in plaintiff's favor. Pross v. Katz, 784 F.2d 455, 457 (2d Cir. 1986); Metzner v. D.H. Blair & Co., 663 F. Supp. 716, 719 (S.D.N.Y. 1987). A complaint should be dismissed only if it "appears beyond a doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim that would entitle him to relief." Frasier v. General Elec. Co., 930 F.2d at 1007 (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80, 78 S. Ct. 99 (1957)).

 II. Standard for Establishing a Negligence Claim

 In order to establish a cause of action for negligence, a plaintiff must show (i) the existence of a duty flowing from defendant to plaintiff; (ii) a breach of this duty; (iii) a reasonably close causal connection between the breach and the resulting injury; and (iv) loss, harm, or damage. Febesh v. Elcejay Inn Corp., 157 A.D.2d 102, 104, 555 N.Y.S.2d 46, 47 (1st Dept. 1990) (citing Prosser and Keeton on the Law of Torts § 30, at 164-65 (5th ed. 1984)).

 III. Plaintiffs' Negligence ...


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