Most people leave a trip to Graceland with a few Elvis Presley trinkets and a hankering for a peanut butter and banana sandwich, but one guy claims his visit left him with a debilitating hearing problem and a marriage in shambles.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Hans-Peter Gauch says took a trip from Switzerland for a few days last October with his daughter they and stayed at the Guest House at Graceland.
Gauch says he was awoken at 8:00 AM one morning by “an extremely loud fire alarm” that he was sleeping close to in his hotel room. He says his right ear was exposed to the loud alarm.
He and his daughter immediately dressed and tried to get down to the bottom floor to escape the hotel.
But Gauch claims they did not see anyone else trying to leave and when they went to the elevator, they were not working. Gauch says the exit signs were not accurate throughout the hotel floor and claims the deep red color of the walls made it hard to see if there was an emergency exit sign.
Gauch and his daughter claim they went back to his room “deeply concerned for their safety” and called the front desk about their inability to exit the hotel despite the fire alarm. They were told the alarm was probably a false alarm.
According to Gauch, the alarm ended after about 30 minutes and the elevators began working again.
“Once the fire alarm was no longer sounding, Mr. Gauch noticed the presence of a significant whistling noise in both of his ears," the lawsuit states. "He had to go to the emergency department of a local hospital where they determined he had 'Tinnitus' which is a condition involving the perception of noise which is considered to be a problematic issue that can cause 'severe and debilitating' symptoms."
Gauch says upon his return to Switzerland, his doctor reached the same diagnosis. Gauch said the tinnitus has caused him "severe, permanent and debilitating bodily injury to his hearing ability." He claims he requires "prescription-strength sleeping medication" that is such a high dosage, can't get up for work in the morning, so he has to work afternoons.
He claims his work has suffered significantly and his condition has "altered his speech pattern and does not allow him to carry on a conversation without great distortion, as he did before the injury."
As for his marriage, Gauch claims he "suffers the loss of enjoyment of physical activities he used to enjoy in life with his wife." He claims his altered sleeping patterns "have caused irritability and mood swings" and things have gotten so bad, he's moved out (though they remain married).
Gauch is suing the Elvis Presley estate and the hotel for negligence and seeking damages in excess of $75,000.
The Blast reached out to a rep for the Elvis Presley estate — so far, no word back.