Arizona Jury Awards $2.4 Million in Hotel Stair Fall

April 19, 2010

The family of a woman who died after falling down a set of stairs at a Tucson hotel has been awarded $2.4 million.

The Pima County jury found that the owners of the Viscount Suite Hotel were 80 percent to blame for the death of 78-year-old Harriet Catherine Volner.

Volner had gone to the hotel to have breakfast with friends in September 2007 and fell on the stairs leading into the hotel atrium.

Volner family lawyer Barry MacBan said Friday that the stairs violated city building codes because they had no railing. He also told jurors during a trial that the owners removed a railing after they bought the place in 1986 to open up the area and that “loud” carpeting made the stairs hard to distinguish.

Hotel attorney Ralph Hunsaker said he planned to file an appeal.

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