If my wife and I are being falsely accused of damage to a resort hotel room that we stayed in, what can we do?

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If my wife and I are being falsely accused of damage to a resort hotel room that we stayed in, what can we do?

We stayed in a resort out of state. We checked out of the hotel. Before we got home, we get message stating that there was significant damage to the room, including a scratch to a flat screen TV, urine stains on the sofa and stains on the mattress and linens. The resort manager stated that since we didn’t report any of the damage before we left that we are responsible. We did not cause damage to the TV or cause stains on the mattress (We didn’t notice a scratch or stains before we left. No one urinated on the sofa.They have pictures, but we didn’t cause the damage.

Asked on July 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You have three options:

1) Pay for the damage, if the cost to defend (if they actually sue)--i.e the cost of an attorney; the time you will lose from work; etc.--exceeds the cost of paying.

2) Try to settle for some lesser amount which you are willing to pay.

3) Refuse to pay. If they don't sue, you are fine; if they do, you can defend against the claim. In the absence of of documentation or pictures, you would rely on your testimony that you did not cause the damage. Unless the hotel and their employees (and evidence) are more persuasive than you, you should have a reasonable chance to win.

These are not mutually exclusive; you can refuse to pay, then if sued, either agree to pay or make some offer(s) in settlement.


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