03/24/2011 // Greensboro, NC, USA // Personal Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley
Clayton, MO– A family has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Clayton after the hotel provided a drunk man a room key, in which he used to enter an occupied suite and allegedly proceeded to molest a 9-year-old girl. The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 in St. Louis County Circuit Court for at least $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
The lawsuit named Maritz, Wolff & Co., owners of the hotel; the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., which operates it; Daniel T. Hughes, 42, the alleged molester; and Enterprise Leasing, his employer at the time, as the defendants
On March 6, Hughes was arrested and charged with three counts of child molestation and one count of sodomy, after he entered the suite and got into bed with the girl. Hughes was reportedly “extremely intoxicated” at the time of the incident.
The victim’s sister and the sister’s friend, both 14, were in the room at the time but slept through the whole incident.
The victim told her parents that there was a man in her room and they subsequently alerted police.
Hughes apparently had planned to spend the night with a colleague at the Ritz, when he went to the wrong room at 4 a.m. When the key did not unlock the door, he went to the front desk and received a key that did unlock the door to the wrong room.
The lawsuit asserts that the hotel was negligent in that the desk clerk gave Hughes a room key without verifying his identity and did not have a security guard escort him to the room to verify that he was actually a guest. In addition, the hotel did not properly train the clerk, who is a male, and that the hotel did not maintain or install adequate locks on the room doors.
Hughes, who posted a $400,000 bail, was at the hotel to attend a company-related training event. He had apparently been employed by Enterprise for 17-years. He is no longer an employee at the company.
Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for Missouri personal injury lawyers.
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