SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California
judge has denied
Holiday Inn’s request to dismiss a complaint filed on behalf of a
rape victim claiming damages for an incident that occurred at the
hotel after the receptionist allegedly gave a room key to the
perpetrator without asking for proper identification.
that the perpetrator impersonated the victim’s boyfriend and asked
for a key to the room he said he was sharing with her. The
receptionist gave a key to the man and later testified she was not
trained to obtain identification for replacement keys. The lawsuit
noted that the man was intoxicated and also offered the receptionist
money in exchange for sex.
“It is a legal task to determine
whether or not the hotel was negligent and whether or not the end
result of their negligence was foreseeable,” John Doherty of the
Civil Justice Association of California told the Northern
California Record. “I think that’s ultimately what the case
The argument of whether the actions of the hotel were
foreseeable will be key in arguments on both sides of the case.
Holiday Inn has claimed it is not at fault because it was the
criminal actions were not foreseeable; yet in deposition, the
receptionist and manager stated rape could result in a room key being
given to someone not properly identified.
liability in this case will require finding that there was both
negligence and that it was foreseeable that something this terrible
would happen,” Doherty said.
The perpetrator, who was caught on
video surveillance leaving the victim’s hotel room partially
unclothed, was sentenced to three years is after his conviction of
“There is some concern that the horrible, despicable,
criminal act is civilly being transferred and blamed to the hotel
whose actions — while people can argue about how they should have
done that or handled the situation — they clearly were not trying
or looking to enable criminal activity,” Doherty said.
judge denied the dismissal request stating that the claims for
damages by the plaintiff were warranted based on the actions of the
hotel. The case
is set to go to trial April 18.