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USA: Judge dismisses lawsuit against 4 hotels in Denver over liability for sex trafficking

" Federal judge sides with Denver hotels, rejects lawsuit from trafficking victim", 1 Mar 2021

A federal judge in Colorado has dismissed a lawsuit against four major hotel chains with Denver locations, litigation that is part of a multistate effort to hold hotels accountable for sex trafficking within their facilities.

In a Feb. 24 order, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer concluded that a woman identified only as J.L. had failed to prove that Best Western International, the Hyatt Corporation, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and Marriott International knew or should have known that their hotels were aware of her status as a trafficking victim.

“Plaintiff claims that her trafficking, torture, and sexual exploitation occurred at the Best Western Plus, Hyatt Place, La Quinta Inn & Suites, and Sheraton hotels in the Denver Tech Center and that, as a direct and proximate result of defendants’ refusal to prevent human trafficking at these properties, she was sexually exploited and repeatedly victimized,” wrote Brimmer.

However, he concluded “[g]eneral knowledge of commercial sex activity occurring at hotels across the United States is insufficient on its own to demonstrate” that the hotels participated in trafficking.

In 2019, according to The Guardian, 13 women accused multiple hotel operators of willfully ignoring the indicators of sex trafficking taking place at their locations. Since then, the lawsuits have proceeded on different trajectories...