George W. Hammerstein (plaintiff) was the invited guest of a hotel owned by Jean Development West (the firm) (defendant). For months, the hotel's fire alarm system sounded unusually often, due to malfunctioning or prankster tampering. Hammerstein had a room on the hotel's fourth floor, which was serviced by an elevator. Hammerstein's age and poor health made it inadvisable for him to use stairs, but one night the fire alarm sounded and Hammerstein was forced to evacuate his room by descending the hotel's emergency stairs. Hammerstein slipped on the stairs and injured his foot. Hammerstein did not report his injury to resort staff and sought medical attention only a week later, after the injury started turning gangrenous. Hammerstein sued the firm for negligence, alleging that the hotel's many false alarms made frequent emergency evacuations likely, thereby imposing a duty on the firm to take special precautions to ensure guest safety during evacuations. A Nevada district court found no negligence and granted the firm's motion for summary judgment. Hammerstein appealed to the Supreme Court of Nevada.