Marianas Variety

Last updateWed, 16 Oct 2019 12am







    Monday, October 14, 2019-8:05:21A.M.






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Woman who sued hotel asks court for default judgment

SUPERIOR Court Associate Judge Wesley Bogdan has placed under advisement the motion for a default judgment filed by a woman who sued the Hyatt Regency Saipan for injuries to her hand that she said were caused by a kitchen door in the hotel.

Estelita Stovell, through attorney Matthew J. Holley, sued Saipan Portopia Hotel, doing business as Hyatt Regency, for negligence.

Stovell wants the court to issue an order awarding her a total of $539,826.91 for economic and non-economic damages.

She filed the lawsuit on Aug. 8, 2018.

Court documents state that Hyatt’s resident agent attorney, Stephen Nutting, was served with the summons on Aug. 14, 2018.

Asked for comment on Wednesday, Nutting said he is not representing the hotel in the litigation. He added that he might be the resident agent of Hyatt, but he knows nothing of the civil lawsuit.

On Oct. 15, 2018, the clerk of court entered a default against Hyatt after it failed to file an answer to the complaint.

On Jan. 22, 2019 the court held a hearing for the plaintiff’s request for judgment by default and an assessment of damages.

On Feb. 22, 2019, the court heard testimony from Stovell who said she suffered personal injuries as a result of unsafe conditions on Hyatt premises.

Dr. Anthony Stearns of Marianas Medical Center was admitted as a medical expert and testified that Stovell has suffered a life-long permanent injury, and that even with a successful injury, she will not be able to return to pre-injury condition.

Bruce MacMillan, a certified public accountant, told the court that Stovell’s projected personal income capacity is $105,535 based on her age and life expectancy. Court document did not indicate the plaintiff’s age.

Doris Shiver, an occupational therapist, testified that Stovell will be unable to return to work and that the minimum life care plan that she needs for future care and treatment will amount to $120,855.58.

According to the complaint, on or about Feb. 4, 2018 Stovell was trying to open the exit door from Hyatt’s kitchen when one of the staffers pushed the same door to enter the kitchen, causing injury to the plaintiff.

According to the lawsuit, “The design of the door prevents a clear view of who is entering from either side. There were no signs or adequate signs to warn invitees, licensees or workers of the danger that the door posed.”

Hyatt “failed to properly ensure its door was safe; failed to properly design or construct the door; failed to provide proper signage; failed to ensure a safe environment; and failed to properly provide adequate warning signs to warn individuals of the dangerous condition,” the lawsuit added.

No other information about the plaintiff or the alleged incident was available in court documents.