CHARLESTON – A lawsuit filed against Choice Hotel International alleging injuries from a shower fixture has been removed to federal court.

Choice Hotels International Service Corp.; H.I. Heritage Inn of Huntington inc., which is doing business as Barboursville Comfort Inn; and T.M.I. Hospitality Inc. were also named as defendants in the suit.

Because the defendants are corporations with principal places of business in Maryland and North Dakota, complete diversity exists, according to the Sept. 6 notice of removal.

Since the plaintiff is asking for $125,000 in damages, the lawsuit should be removed due to the amount exceeding the $75,000 requirement.

On Aug. 3, 2015, Anthony Stephens and his wife checked into the Barboursville Comfort Inn in room 304, according to a complaint filed Aug. 2 in Cabell Circuit Court.

Stephens claims while on the premises, the defendants negligently, carelessly and recklessly maintained a bathroom railing, which was a fixture in the shower in room 304.

While trying to take a shower, Stephens fell when the railing collapsed while he was holding onto it, according to the suit.

Stephens claims the defendants refused to offer him a room which was handicap accessible notwithstanding his request for one and did not provide him with a shower floor or bathroom floor which was designed to prevent guests from slipping, sliding or falling.

The defendants failed to properly maintain and provide proper maintenance to the bathroom railing that collapsed, according to the suit.

Stephens claims the defendants were negligent, careless and reckless  and caused him to suffer temporary and permanent injuries to his legs and other parts of his body.

The plaintiff incurred medical bills in the amount of $54,000, according to the suit.

Stephens is seeking damages in the amount of $125,000 with pre-judgment interest. He is being represented by Mark Hobbs.

The defendants are represented by Robert A. Lockhart of Cipriani & Werner.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 3:17-cv-03930

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