New Orleans hotel sued after priest slips and falls in shower

Michelle Keahey Jun. 12, 2012, 3:44am


NEW ORLEANS - A Las Vegas Roman Catholic priest has filed a lawsuit against a New Orleans hotel claiming he was not properly warned of the dangers associated with the hotel's shower and, as a result, he slipped and fell.

The Rev. John A. Kovalcin filed suit against Hilton Worldwide Inc., Hilton New Orleans, Hilton Garden Inn New Orleans Convention Center and Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. on April 27 in Orleans Parish District Court. The defendant removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on June 8.

Kovalcin has taught theology at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas.

The alleged incident occurred on April 27, 2011 while Kovalcin was in New Orleans attending a National Catholic Education Association Convention and he was staying at the Hilton Garden Inn on South Peters Street in New Orleans.

Kovalcin states that he was taking a shower and was attempting to retrieve a towel from a shelf when he lost traction and slipped. As he was falling, Kovalcin struck his head on the side of the bathtub.

The defendants are accused of failing to provide Kovalcin with a safe place to shower, failing to provide safe and sufficient grab bar or an adequate or appropriately installed towel shelf, appropriate non-skid surfaces, and for creating an unsafe environment, failing to inform Kovalcin of the dangers, failing to provide proper safety equipment, and failing to provide sufficient or competent personnel, supervision or inspection regarding the shower.

The plaintiff is asking for an award of damages for injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, interest, court costs, and attorney's fees.

Kovalcin is represented by Hush P. Lambert, Candice C. Sirmon, and Cayce Peterson of Lambert & Nelson in New Orleans.

U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:12-cv-01478

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