Kenneka Jenkins‘ mother has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the hotel where the 19-year-old teen was found dead in a double walk-in freezer.
Tereasa Martin filed a lawsuit on Tuesday alleging the Crowne Plaza hotel staff, security and a restaurant in the hotel are liable for her daughter’s death on September 10, 2017.
The lawsuit claims the hotel failed to properly monitor the security cameras, which would have saved Kenneka’s life.
The lawsuit also alleges the hotel was negligent in several instances:
- Hotel staff ignored several reports that there was a hazardous party taking place with dozens of people in a hotel room, which had a four-person occupancy; that smoke detectors were disabled; and there was a strong odor of an “intoxicant” coming from the room.
- Hotel staff ignored the visibly disoriented teen making her way through the hotel alone.
- Hotel security failed to review cameras when Kenneka was first reported missing.
- The hotel failed to secure a dangerous area of the hotel.
- The hotel failed to properly secure the unused double freezer Kenneka’s body was found in.
The lawsuit said that she was “seriously, painfully, and permanently hurt and injured as her body shut down and she froze to death” due to this negligence.
Additionally, Jenkins and her estate suffered damages including “conscious, physical pain and suffering” and death, severe emotional injuries, mortification and humiliation, loss of wages, funeral expense and several other damages, the lawsuit said.
A spokesman for the Crowne Plaza said in a statement that the hotel would fight the lawsuit:
The death of Kenneka Jenkins was a tragedy, but the proximate cause of her death were the unsavory individuals who used a stolen credit card to book a room and host an illegal party which Ms. Jenkins attended.
Those criminals escaped the hotel before police arrived and have never truly been held accountable. This lawsuit has no merit and we will vigorously contest it.
Kenneka Jenkins’ death and all of the circumstances around it still breaks my heart.