Toddler’s Foot Gets Stuck in Rotating Spindletop Restaurant

A 4-year-old child got her foot stuck in the open, unmarked 3-inch gap between the rotating floor and stationary wall at the Spindletop Restaurant atop the Hyatt Regency Hotel Downtown, according to a lawsuit filed by her parents earlier this week. The incident, which took place last October, resulted in several deep lacerations and “likely permanent disfigurement” of the child’s foot, according to the complaint. Her parents were able to pull the girl’s foot out of the gap and trapped shoe after a minute, but only seconds before the floor rotated far enough to push her in front of a pole supporting a handrail along the window.


Adding to their young child’s distress after she was rescued, according to the parents: a security guard called over by the manager, who stood next to the girl “with a large pistol in open display” as she sat on her father’s lap, but who offered no assistance.

Photos: Hyatt Regency Houston (top); Amanda J. Taylor (interior)

40 Comment

  • Who brings a 4-year old to Spindletop?

  • Watch yer damn kids!

  • The little girl wandered away from her parents to look at a birthday cake.

    What parent does NOT keep an eye on their children in a restaurant?

    IMO, the restaurant should have stopped the rotation (if possible) as soon as they were made aware of the situation. Surely, there will be “safety measures” put in place now, or worse, the rotating restaurant will cease rotating.

  • Another ridiculous, frivolous lawsuit. Parents, do your job and watch your kid. You knew it was a rotating restaurant before you walked in the door. And you’re mad because the security guard had a holstered pistol? Give me a break. Take responsibility for being a parent. If your child was upset seeing a holstered pistol, turn her head away, or remove her from the situation. I suspect you came up with this item in an effort to add weight to your weak lawsuit.

  • It was an accident that likely wouldn’t have happened if they’d been watching their kid. Too many parents take their kids to nice restaurants and then let them run wild like it’s Chucky Cheese. I was a little sympathetic until the bit about distress because the guard had a gun; so now I think they are just gold-diggers AND irresponsible parents. They’d probably sue “somebody” if their kid wandered off and fell off the Grand Canyon because there was no railing – around the entire canyon. They should sue each other for not taking better care of their child.

  • Why have the rent-a-cop escort them out like criminals? That’s not gonna play well in front of a jury.

  • CPS should question the parents about child neglect and endangement. I’m sure the attorney who filed the case for these parents already negotiated his/her 40% share of any settlement.

  • Yeah, *the restaurant* was the party showing gross negligence. smh

  • ok, i’ll bite. Did any of you folks assuming the parents weren’t watching the poor kid even think about the fact that maybe the kids wasn’t running wild in the restaurant? You seem to think that’s the only possible scenario here. Take a look at the picture-notice the chairs really close to the windows. Don’t you think it’s possible the kid was standing next to her chair looking out the window or something when her foot got stuck? Which means her parents could have been trusting their four year old to do something totally normal when an accident happened. I have no idea if that actually happened and I don’t know if there should be a lawsuit, but the fact that everyone assumes these parents were negligent (like you think the actually pretty small amount of parents with misbehaving kids are negligent because they’re bothering you) is depressing.

  • I hope the Spindletop counter sues for dragging their name into this cheap attempt to cover their bad parenting skills.

  • Why don’t these worthless kids get a job?

  • Poor kid. :-(

  • I’ve still got prominent scars on my knees from falling off bikes onto jagged crushed limestone when I was a kid. That’s the sort of thing that happens to kids. If your kids aren’t suffering from accidentally self-inflicted wounds, then THEY AREN’T DOING IT RIGHT.

  • I love how everyone in Texas has been brainwashed by Bob Perry into thinking that all lawsuits are frivolous. The kid got up to watch someone get a birthday cake at another table and got her foot caught when standing next to the wall. Clearly she deserved to die!!!! Her awful parents immediately asked the hotel to stop the turntable, but they did nothing even though the girl was being pulled towards a pole that could have snapped her leg in two. It took a minute to free the kid, leaving her with permanent scars. But little girls love scars and most women are getting scars put on their legs by cosmetic surgeons as a fashion statement, so what’s the big deal??? The hotel provided no first aid and sent an armed security guard to make sure the four year old girl didn’t try anything. Many rotating restaurants have been robbed after falling for the old “kid gets foot stuck” trick.
    Looks to me like the bean counters at the hotel are fighting this because they do not want to make expensive modifications to make the turntable safe from gold digging four year olds looking to get free scars on their legs. What a terrible world it would be if businesses had to make their premises safe for little children. I hope that four year old girl has to sell her Barbies to pay the hotel’s attorneys fees. (if you are unable to follow the sarcasm in this post, you probably should not be reading the comments on swamplot).

  • The windows rotate with the restaurant. If a 4 year old is scared of a security guard the parents are not doing their job. I remember my parents always explaining to me that police officers were strangers it was okay to talk to.

  • We americans have to stop sueing everyone and learn to raise children. Maybe make losers in frivilous lawsuits pay the defenses legal bills

  • They need to update that restaurant from the exterior. Looks like it got stuck in the 70’s.

  • Nobody here has enough information to determine whether this lawsuit is frivolous. Nobody. Calling it one way or the other speaks to your own prejudices, predilictions and anecdotes. BTW: An unwatched, injured child does not release anyone from liability.

  • Well, no need for me to pile on with another ‘watch your damn kid’ comment…
    …But lol @ TheNiche. I feel the same way as a former carless boy that grew up riding his bike down hills with no chain or brake, without a care about how I might actually stop. Got the scars (and great memories) to prove it. Same subject: When I was trick-or-treating, I went alone (or with friends). Now EVERY kid is with their parents. Wusses.

  • “Plaintiffs took Erin immediately to the emergency room of the Texas Children’s Hospital in Katy, where she was treated for her injuries and provided medication for pain management.”
    So they drove her all the way to Katy to find an emergency room when the medical center is right down the street from the Hyatt? The Katy location must have more lax “pain management” policies.

  • The law is simple. If a condition on the premises posed an unreasonable risk of harm, and Spindletop knew or reasonably should have known of the danger but failed to warn or fix the condition, then they are on the hook. Don’t worry, if a jury finds the kid or parents contributed to the accident by their negligence and are more than 51% responsible, Spindletop pays nada even if they were negligent.

    Let the lawsuit run its course. If we find out that multiple kids have gotten caught in the crack, Spindletop knew it was dangerous, knew that kids loved to get up and walk over to look out the revolving window and occasionally got toes torn off, but didn’t bother to do anything about the known risk or at least warn anyone, would that matter to you? I hope so. If Spindletop shows that it regularly conducts inspections, has addressed problems (if any) or warned people, and knew it was safe(or never had anything like this happen), would that lead you to believe there was not an unreasonable risk of harm? I hope so.

    We have laws and we have lawsuits. Believe it or not, after a jury hears all of the evidence from both sides and manage to reach a consensus, they usually get the right answer.

  • [sarcasm] Yes, the Spindletop /should/ be punished for letting a 4 y.o. and her moronic parents into the restaurant. [/sarcasm]

    Even if it would be cool for your kid to see it, that’s not a “family atmosphere” restaurant – of which there are MANY in our city.

  • the armed security guard had a holstered gun, what did they expect just a walkie talkie? I also love the whole “we had to go to the emergency room” line, when they drove like 30-45 minutes back to Katy to go to the ER. I nearly cut my dang foot off one time when I was a child and you can barely see any scarring from it… but she has likely permanent disfigurement? Sounds like it was a real blood bath up there in the spindletop.

  • Let’s first discuss the stationary wall within the restaurant. By inference, it would most likely be close to the “core” of the restaurant. If true, then Amanda #9’s claim above about “the chairs really close to the windows” is erroneous. That said, and given only the facts at hand, I don’t see how the restaurant can defend against this lawsuit. For the same reason that I could prevail in a gross negligence suit against Wal Mart if I slipped on an unmarked wet spot or other item on the ground (shotgun BB?), so too will these parents prevail. The issue is not whether the parents were or were not watching their child (though this is their responsbility). The issue to resolve is whether or not the restaurant did enough to mitigate the risk of injury related to the gap in the rotating system. Go ‘Stros!!!

  • I thought that place closed afer Ike? Hump shows that I don’t get out much! I miss spinning while eating and drinking and spinning and…

    And on the child thing, I am real sorry for their injuries but children should not be running around un-attended.

  • I have a hard time understanding how everyone is attacking the parents for not doing “their” job. As if there is a guide book for everyone to follow on how to raise kids. clearly there is negligence on the part of the restaurant for not covering a three inch gap in the floor. All you have to do is bolt in a small wire cover that goes with the floor and you’re done. Simple and cheap. The point is to keep appendages out of a large moving object.

  • Thank you to those who are taking the time to correctly explain the legal principle behind Spindletop actually being required to provide a laceration-free dining experience to the 4-year olds of this city.

    The number of people on every blog i’ve seen this story on who are automatically attacking the parents is repulsive.

    Moreso than even that carpet!

  • I agree — let a jury decide.

    Unfortunately, we can’t try parents for idiocacy. They had every right to bring their 4 year old there if the restaurant allows it, and they have the right to let their 4 year old leave the table unattended. But I do believe those were bad decisions on the parents part.

    I think the part of the story that are making it seem frivolous for people are:
    – Immediately going to an ER out in the suburbs. If it was my child and it was an emergency, I’d take them to the nearest good ER around me. Between downtown and the medical center, you have many fine hospital and stand alone ERs. So that sounds fishy.
    – The secuirty guard with the gun distressing the girl. Drama, typically layer BS.

  • Uh is keeping an eye on your child really that hard? You let your child run buck wild, these things will happen. Lord knows how much time passed before they even noticed. Tragic yes, but worthy of litigation absolutely not.

  • @ Corey: By definition, a lacerated foot is not a tragedy. Its just something that happened, a random accident without machinations. If anything is tragic about this episode, it will likely pertain to the contingent liability imposed on the restaurant through the legal process.

  • A child with a disfigured foot, is rather bad as said child has to live with this for the rest of their life. Whether or not you consider it tragic or otherwise is rather irrelevant.

  • With that carpet, SOMEONE must have predicted this – look at how well it would hide blood stains.

  • Then the word that you’re looking for to describe these circumstances is “pathetic”, the root word being pathos.

  • I’m quite surprised at some of the responses here… Are all the details about how long the parents weren’t watching the kid known? I’m sure some of you holier than thou ‘parents’ have even allowed your eyes to wander for 5-10 seconds, which as we all know is plenty of time to get into mischief. If the child wandered off even as the parents gave chase and then proceeded to get her foot stuck what would all of you do?

    This site and the endless supply of snarky comments really shows you just how crappy people have become. Civility is gone and we’re instead left to judge others behind the safety of our Macbooks and Dells. Shame.

  • If my child had disfiguring lacerations on her foot, I’d have headed straight for St. Joseph’s ER.

    Surely the child was crying??

  • I’d take a Bromo, but I can’t stand the noise.

  • I suspect the parents may have preferred to drive to the Katy ER rather than chance a long wait at a downtown or med center hospital. If the security guard with a pistol scared them, they were probably terrified out of their wits by the thought of having to wait around with a bunch of scary looking poor people.

  • #37 Sunsets:

    Where would these “scary looking poor people” be?

    I repeat, if the injuries were that bad, it seems to me that they’d have been more concerned with getting PROMPT treatment.

    Both parents were there. How could they put their personal prejudiced fears above the health concerns of their screaming child?

    Would you??


    No, I certainly would not worry about any perceived ER waiting room populations if my child had a mangled foot.

    I suspect that in this case, once the immediate crises passed and the family was escorted out, their only thought was getting in the car and getting home. When mom or dad got a good look at that foot, they figured they’d better get that checked out, and they were on the way home anyhow, so to Katy they went. Especially if they weren’t familiar with downton/TMC.

    In other words, I don’t think that the distance of the ER from the site of the injury is a serious indicator of the legitimacy of this lawsuit.

  • I’m late to this party but Thanks for all the laughs!!
    I was a very similar age when I first encounted a rotating restaurant (Worlds Fair – Toronto) and I was FREAKED OUT by the squirrelly gap in the floor that we stepped over… like a sneaky sideways escalator.
    Though the restaurant floor didn’t eat MY ankle like I feared it would, I wish I’d been a more care-free tyke like the kid in this story.