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H.H v. G6 Hosp., LLC

United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division

December 6, 2019, Decided; December 6, 2019, Filed

Case No. 2:19-CV-755

Opinion

OPINION & ORDER

This matter is before the Court on Defendants', G6 Hospitality, LLC, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc., Shahil, LLC, and Northland Hotel, Inc., Motions to Dismiss. (ECF Nos. 29, 30, 21, 19). For the following reasons, Defendants' Motions are hereby DENIED.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, H.H., alleges she was trafficked for sex from approximately March 2015 to October 2015 at Motel 6 and Super 8 hotel locations in Columbus. (ECF No. 1 at ¶ 45). Plaintiff now seeks to hold these hotels liable under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act ("TVPRA"), 18 U.S.C. § 1595(a).

Plaintiff alleges that these hotel Defendants knew that sex trafficking occurred frequently on their properties and failed to prevent it, and also that they knew or should have known of H.H.'s trafficking. Plaintiff points to behavior that she alleges hotel staff should have recognized as signs of her trafficking: "bottles of lubricants, [*3]  boxes of condoms, excessive requests for towels and linens, cash payments," and physical signs of human trafficking including "branding, restraints, bruises, physical deterioration." (ECF No. 1 at ¶ 46). Plaintiff alleges that while she was at each hotel property she "was routinely escorted by her trafficker to the front desk to hand deliver cash payments." (Id.). She also alleges that she was discovered by the hotel cleaning staff at the Motel 6 Columbus "tied to the guest room bed" and that "despite her desperate pleas for help, the staff ignored her." (Id. at ¶ 47). At the Super 8 Columbus, she similarly alleges housekeeping staff discovered her chained up in the bathroom and ignored her pleas for help. (Id. at ¶ 48). Plaintiff finally escaped in October of 2015. H.H. alleges that these hotels and their parent companies did not take adequate measures to prevent human trafficking and were "willfully blind to the indicia of human trafficking." (Id. at ¶ 46).

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

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2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 211090 *; 2019 WL 6682152

H.H, Plaintiff, v. G6 HOSPITALITY, LLC, et al., Defendants.

Prior History: M.A. v. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173675 (S.D. Ohio, Oct. 7, 2019)

CORE TERMS

trafficking, hotel, allegations, sex, venture, staff, argues, civil liability, participated, knowingly, joint employer, blindness