The death of beloved actor and comedian Bob Saget has brought attention to the dire consequences of head and brain injuries. We at Biren Law Group were deeply saddened to hear of Saget’s passing. As brain injury attorneys, we know just how sudden and earth-shattering such injuries can be. We send our sincere condolences to his loved ones.
Saget, 65, was found to have suffered fatal skull fractures while alone in a Ritz-Carlton hotel in Orlando, Fla. As reported by The New York Times, it was initially thought that Saget had bumped his head and shrugged it off, but autopsy reports showed that his skull was fractured in several places. It is unlikely he would have thought nothing of it.
The autopsy report cited a fall as the cause of Saget’s fatal injuries.
“It’s like an egg cracking,” Dr. Jeffrey Bazarian, emergency physician and concussion expert at the University of Rochester Medical Center, told the Times. “You hit it in one spot, and it can crack from the back to the front.”
When family members couldn’t get ahold of Saget, they called hotel security to request a welfare check. Security sent an employee to the room, who knocked several times before entering. Saget was found “in his bed with his left arm across his chest and his right arm resting on the bed with no signs of trauma,” CNN reported. Emergency services were called to the room immediately.
First responders pronounced Saget deceased shortly after he was found.
At Biren Law Group, we recently took on a case of a similar nature on behalf of a woman, 59, who suffered a brain injury at a hotel. Like Saget, she was staying at the hotel alone, and her family (in her case, her husband) grew worried when she stopped answering her phone. She had, alone in her room, suffered a cerebral aneurysm rupture and was left stranded on the living room floor for hours before being found.
Her injury was disabling, but fortunately not fatal.
Although the welfare check proved futile for Saget, his tragic death still highlights the importance of proper welfare checks. Saget’s family was notified of what happened as early as possible—and although the news was devastating, they were not left in the dark because of a poorly executed welfare check. Others, like our client’s husband, cannot say the same.
The hotel Saget was staying at did exactly what we claimed the hotel in our client’s case should have done. Had their staff done a proper welfare check, had they been trained to do a proper welfare check, our client would have been discovered hours earlier. Her injury was different from Saget’s—not fatal skull fractures, but a cerebral aneurysm rupture—and permanent damage could have been avoided had she received medical treatment earlier.
On top of that, the failed welfare check left our client’s husband worrying about where his wife could be. He stayed up for hours, fretting over his wife’s safety and calling her repeatedly. He was so frantic that he decided to go to the hotel to look for himself. Imagine his devastation when he found his wife lying injured on the floor a whole 7 hours after the welfare check—and 11 hours after the initial injury. This would not have been the case if a proper welfare check had been done.
Biren Law Group, with The Homampour Law Firm, sued the hotel management company over the failed welfare check and the harm it brought our client and her husband. The jury awarded our clients $60 million in damages. While this is a huge victory, the couple’s lives will never be the same. Our client now lives with permanent short-term memory loss and requires 24/7 care. Her husband is heartbroken to see his wife struggle with a lifelong disability.
The importance of hotel welfare checks cannot be overstated. When our loved ones go away for the night, we never expect anything bad to happen in their hotel room. But if the worst does happen, a welfare check can make all the difference.
Learn more about this case here.
About Biren Law Group
At our family-run Los Angeles law firm, we fight for clients catastrophically injured by negligence. We also advocate for those who have lost their loved ones. In the past 40+ years, we have recovered more than half a billion dollars in client compensation, helping clients adjust and adapt after suffering a preventable accident.
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