Can I sue for emotional stress regarding harassment by hotel security?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can I sue for emotional stress regarding harassment by hotel security?

I was at an Atlantic City casino last night and before I went up to my room at 3 am in the morning, I stopped to ask at the front desk for a late check-out. The girl granted me a 1 pm check-out and I thanked her. I also said to her that I had taken a beating in the casino and laughing said that I’d like to slit my throat but I’d be fine in the morning. The next thing I know, there was a knock on my door and security insisted that they come into my room to check for weapons. Then 2 minutes later, there were now 7 officers in my room. I kept telling them over and over and over again that I was just joking around with the girl but there would have none of it. I was being harassed and questioned like a criminal. Then they told me that a medical person would have to come up and assess my condition, which they did by taking my blood pressure and asking many different medical questions. I was in complete shock that this was actually happening. They actually brought up a stretcher to my room. Also, they asked asked if I take any medications and I told them no. I am a 56 year old man and was I never in my entire life so mortified and embarrassed. They were in my room for at least 30 minutes and at the end the guard said sorry and try and get some sleep. Of course, as soon as they left, I packed my bag and left the casino. I can’t relax and it’s making me sick. Is there any action that I could take regarding all of this?

Asked on August 8, 2019 under Personal Injury, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, there is no action you can take.
1) There is no legal action for emotional distress or harassment unless you can prove that it was done with the deliberate intention to cause you emotional harm--which this was not--or it was accompanied by physical harm--which it also was not. If you think about it, you can readily imagine why this is so: otherwise, everyone would be suing everyone who embarassed or mortified or otherwise caused them distress all the time, and our courts would be buried under lawsuits about hurt feelings and embarassment.
2) Their action was reasonable: people do desparate things after losing big at casinos. You made a comment about slitting your throat. Say that they had not acted and you had killed yourself: if it had come out that you'd made the comment you did casino staff, your family or survivors could have sued the casino for a great deal of money by not acting in the face of a suicide threat. Once you made the "joke" you did in the context you did, they had to take action, and it was  reasonable to do so; you cannot sue someone for taking reasonable precautions.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption