Tourist Sues Graceland Hotel for $75K Claiming 'Loud Fire Alarm' Caused Marriage Issues
A tourist is suing the Guest House at Graceland for negligence after he claims he was woken up by an “extremely loud fire alarm,” setting off a series of stressful events and ongoing health and personal issues.
According to a legal filing first obtained by The Blast, Hans-Peter Gauch, 53, who is originally from Switzerland, and his daughter were sleeping at the hotel, located across the street from Elvis Presley’s historic home, in October 2017, when “at approximately 8 a.m. an extremely loud fire alarm sounded and woke [Gauch] from deep sleep,” the lawsuit states.
Gauch and his daughter allegedly attempted to access the elevators on the third floor, where their room was located, but they weren’t working. They tried to follow signs showing the layout of their floor to an emergency exit, but the map “caused confusion” and “did not correspond with the actual layout of the hotel floor,” the suit claims.
They then looked for illuminated exit signs, but claim that the place the sign indicated as an exit was “nothing more than an indented wall.” Gauch alleges he and his daughter pushed the indentation thinking it was a door, but there was “no exit or emergency door present.”
After being unable to find a way out, they returned to their room to call the front desk for help. A hotel representative allegedly told Gauch that “the fire alarm was likely a false alarm.”
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“Upon asking where the emergency exits could be found on the third floor, the hotel representative simply claimed that these were clearly marked, which Mr. Gauch immediately denied being the case,” the document states. “No further assistance and/or help was offered to Mr. Gauch and his daughter.”
Around 8:30 a.m. when the alarm was silenced, Gauch claims he noticed a persistent ringing in his ears. He went to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with “Tinnitus,” a condition which involves “noise-induced hearing loss” and can cause concentration difficulties, insomnia and speech problems.
The suit claims that since the incident, Gauch has been unable to carry on conversations in the way he used to, and he also “suffers the loss of enjoyment of physical activities he used to enjoy in life with his wife.”
It elaborates on this claim, stating that “the altered sleeping patterns of Mr. Gauch, and the underlying medical condition, have caused irritability and mood swings in Mr. Gauch, causing great marital discord between husband and wife, deeply affecting the quality of their marriage.” Things have escalated, “so much so that Mr. Gauch has moved out of the marital home due to his anxiety, psychological state, and the marital discord that arose therefrom.” The couple however, remain married.
The lawsuit was filed against the Guest House at Graceland, Elvis Presley Enterprises, and the resort’s parent company Pyramid Hotel Group (as well as all of Pyramid’s advisory groups), is seeking $75,000 for damages.
A representative for the Guest House at Graceland did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.