George T. Bochanis Law Offices

Tort Action for Failure to Provide Facilities to the Public

Constitutional Law: Civil Rights Enforcement: Civil Rights Act of 1871: Public Accommodations & Facilities

Under the common law, a person commits a tort when he or she fails to provide a public utility or a public facility to a member of the public. In order to be liable for this tort, the person must have a non-contractual duty to provide the public utility or the public facility to the public. A denial of the public utility or the public facility constitutes a breach of that duty.

If a person has a contractual duty to provide a public utility or a public facility to a member of the public, the person would not be liable in tort. The person would only be liable for a breach of his or her contractual duties. For example, if a person has made a reservation at a hotel, which reservation a hotelkeeper refuses to honor, the hotelkeeper would only be liable for a breach of contract action. If the person did not have a reservation at the hotel and the hotelkeeper refused to provide a hotel room to the person, the hotelkeeper would be liable for a tort action. However, the hotelkeeper's refusal to provide the hotel room must have been unreasonable.

A person who violates a statute or an ordinance, which statute or ordinance requires the person to provide public facilities, may be liable for a tort action. A violation of a criminal statute may also be grounds for the tort action.

A person who has a duty to provide public facilities is liable for the tort of failure to provide the public facilities. The person's employees may also be liable for the tort. The person's employees may be liable for the tort, even if the person is not liable.

Examples of a failure to provide a public utility include a carrier's refusal to carry goods, to deliver goods, or to carry passengers. Examples also include a utility's failure to provide telephone, electric, or gas services. Examples of a failure to provide a public facility include a hotel's wrongful ejection of a guest or the hotel's refusal to rent a room to the guest or a restaurant's wrongful ejection of a customer or the restaurant's refusal to serve the customer.

Although there are federal and state statutes that prohibit discrimination with regard to a public utility or a public facility, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1871, the common law tort of failure to provide a public utility or a public facility may also apply.

Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.

Areas of Practice

  • Automobile Accidents and Injuries
  • Bicycle Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Personal Injury
  • Premises Liability
More

Contact Us

Contact Us

* required

  1. *
  2. *
  3.  
  4. *
  5. *

This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. George T. Bochanis Law Offices website is powered by LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell®. || Sitemap

Martindale-Hubbell Practice Area Newsletter articles are authored by law professors, practicing attorneys and other professionals.
Pod Help content for this item
Enter the lawyer or law firm name here. You can also upload your company's logo using the "Insert Image" icon in the toolbar. Feel free to format the title, however, some changes may impact the design layout.
Indicate the hours of operation of your law firm. If your firm provides flexible hours for client appointments you should include that information in this section.
Update and format the address information of your firm.
Update and format the address information of your firm.
Update and format the address information of your firm.
Update and format the address information of your firm.
Update and format the address information of your firm.
Update and format the address information of your firm.
Over 50% of law firm website visitors are interested in contact information. Remember to keep the law firm office phone number updated on your website.
Videos offer a compelling way to improve the attractiveness and professionalism of a lawyer website. Videos should be high quality, informative, and concise. Any videos entered through the content editor will only be visible from the Preview page and the live site.
Videos offer a compelling way to improve the attractiveness and professionalism of a lawyer website. Videos should be high quality, informative, and concise. Any videos entered through the content editor will only be visible from the Preview page and the live site.
Videos offer a compelling way to improve the attractiveness and professionalism of a lawyer website. Videos should be high quality, informative, and concise. Any videos entered through the content editor will only be visible from the Preview page and the live site.
Videos offer a compelling way to improve the attractiveness and professionalism of a lawyer website. Videos should be high quality, informative, and concise. Any videos entered through the content editor will only be visible from the Preview page and the live site.
">