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Five Reasons Motel 6 Has Been Involved in Lawsuits
They say you get what you pay for, and in the case of budget chain Motel 6, this may be true. Motel 6 has been slapped with numerous lawsuits that have tarnished its family-friendly reputation. These legal actions may make people adverse to their catchphrase. People looking for cheap accommodation may wonder if they do, indeed, want Motel 6 to “leave the light on” for them.
Here are five reasons why the iconic brand has been involved in lawsuits.
1. Giving Away Guest Information
In this high-profile lawsuit, Motel 6 was accused of voluntarily sharing the personal information of 80,000 guests with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Between 2015 and 2017, ICE secretly obtained data including names, birthdates, driver’s license numbers, and license plate numbers.
This activity took place in seven Motel 6 locations in Washington State and two in Arizona.
Agents received guest lists and would single out Latino-sounding names. Thirteen people were detained because of this, several of whom were deported.
The company agreed to a $22 million class-action settlement for the illegal invasion of property and discrimination.
2. Racial Discrimination
Motel 6 was also accused of racial discrimination in two instances.
The first case involved five Motel 6 guests who claimed that the business discriminated against them because of their race. They alleged that Motel 6 denied lodging to people of color or segregated people of color from white guests in less appealing areas of the establishment.
The second case pertained to five ex-Motel 6 employees. They accused Motel 6 of ordering them to discriminate against people of color and punishing them if they did not comply.
Because racial discrimination was virtually a job requirement, they claimed that it bred a hostile work environment.
3. Sexual Assault
One Motel 6-related sex crime involved 24-year-old Emily Borchardt, who was kidnapped by three men and savagely raped for 12 hours at a Texas Motel 6.
Escaping, she begged the front desk clerk for help. Although Borchardt described her ordeal in detail, the clerk indifferently directed Borchardt to an outside phone.
Borchardt sued Motel 6 for insufficient security and lack of timely response to criminal operations.
4. Human Trafficking
Last year, a woman claimed she was a victim of sex trafficking at a Motel 6 in Santa Clara, California.
When the woman was 16, she was advertised on Backpage.com and held captive for two years in two adjacent rooms rented by her abductors. She claimed that the motel’s managers fully knew about these criminal activities but ignored them.
She alleged that Motel 6 overlooked the trafficking because they profited from increased occupancy.
According to the woman, one of the traffickers was friends with the front desk clerk. She claimed that the clerk gave them secluded rooms at the back of the motel where their activity would not be noticed.
The clerk also tipped off the criminals when the police were nearby.
Motel 6 now has its anti-sex trafficking policy on its website.
5. Insider Trading
In 1995, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) slapped insider trading charges on six people who made $5.6 million trading Motel 6 stock with the illegally obtained information.
These trades were allegedly made when the company’s Executive Vice President, Hugh Thrasher, informed a stock trader that the Motel 6 chain would be sold. The suit contends that Thrasher then tipped off relatives and friends, who tipped off others.
The SEC sought repayment of $227,939 in illegal trading proceeds from Thrasher.
When you stay at a motel, you are entrusting the establishment with your safety and wellbeing. When that trust is betrayed, you are vulnerable to any number of personal injuries.
If you think you have a case against Motel 6, contact the people at Chalik and Chalik Injury Lawyers. Their team of experienced attorneys can review your case and advise you on the best course of action.