4 Replies Latest reply: Aug 20, 2009 2:27 PM by tjcnewyork RSS

Very Bad Show, Marriott

walnutbaron Platinum 3 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

I read with great concern today a story carried on msn.com with a link to the Stamford (CT) Post Chronicle saying that the Marriott Stamford had accused a woman who was raped at gunpoint in front of her children three years ago was negligent in the attack.  The hotel's lawyers stated that the victim 'failed to exercise due care for her own safety and the safety of her children and proper use of her senses and faculties'.

This is despicable.  Marriott headquarters in Bethesda has issued a statement of regret in the matter, but it's hard to believe that Marriott Corporate did not know in advance that one of its own hotels planned to take this aggressive form of defense.

Marriott is such a well-respected brand, but something like this sullies the brand and causes loyal customers like me to look askance at the company's values and moral calibre.

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Very Bad Show, Marriott
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    According to the Stamford Advocate, Marriott issued a second statement about the rape victim's lawsuit requesting that the attorneys withdraw the 'blame the victim' defense. 

     

    The attorneys responsible for the 'blame the victim' defense work for the insurance company and the management company responsible for security ~NOT~ Marriott.  The manner in which the press describes what took place exposes the Marriott brand to criticism and disparagement.  Perhaps Marriott should file a defamation suit against the insurance company, and the security management company.

     

    I am very familiar with the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa.  Between 2003 and 2006, a business development group hosted bi-monthly luncheon meetings there.  The hotel is located on the north side of Interstate 95 in downtown Stamford, CT.  I parked regularly in the parking garage where the crime took place.  The garage is attached to the hotel and has multiple entrance points.  In fact, on the ground level, it opens directly onto the I-95 service road.   Anyone can walk into the garage from that point, as I recall at the time, it's unattended. 

     

    Since 9-11, it is my understanding that tighter security standards for the hotel industry were introduced and Marriott incorporated measures into brand standards.  The extent to which franchises are subject to implement and adhere with brand standards depends upon multiple factors.  Needless to say, cost is a major one.

     

    That being said, the Marriott promise is to make guests feel welcome, comfortable, safe and secure.  Without that as a foundation, there is no way one can feel 'refreshed, revived and re-energized.'   There is no question, IMO that the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa utterly failed to deliver upon that promise to the victim.

     

    The 'blame the victim' defense adds insult to the injury. It is very regrettable that corporate did not intercept and prevent the defense attorneys from filing it.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Very Bad Show, Marriott
    nuhusker Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    TJC wrote:

    The 'blame the victim' defense adds insult to the injury. It is very regrettable that corporate did not intercept and prevent the defense attorneys from filing it.

     

    TJC -- you said it best...once the insurance companies and their attorneys  get involved, the client is pretty well out of the loop...at least that's my experience.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Very Bad Show, Marriott
    lesliepamel Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Despicable, I agree. Personal security is my first interest when checking into an hotel. Many Marriotts that I visit have door viewers that are so cheap that all you get is a distorted view of someone's face. What is required is a viewer that provides a wide angle view of the caller and the accomodation landing, for several feet either side of the door. Secondly the door opening restrictors that Marriott provides are rarely of any value ( except for Grand Hotel at Alabama - those restrictors would keep out a marauding army) The normal restrictor has only small fixings which have often become loose through use, and even a small child could make a forced entry here. So even if a guest should show some responsibility for their own safety, Marriott rarely ever helps them !!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Very Bad Show, Marriott-The Jury is still out!
    tjcnewyork Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    LesliePamel:

     

    The reports point to the failure of hotel management company to police the parking garage.  A woman was assaulted at gunpoint in a parking garage (not her room) and the man responsible was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison. On the face of it, blaming the victim for what happened is "despicable".  But is Marriott really culpable?  I'm prompted to probe deeper.

     

     

    Yesterday, the Washington Post published a third statement, "Marriott Disowns One Hotel's Defense in Rape Case."  For one, the fiasco illustrates the failure of the corporate legal defense team to collaborate with the franchise legal team.  Who dropped the ball with such high stakes?   What's really interesting is that the franchise, the insurance company and the attorneys responsible for the defense are unnamed.  How odd that the entire burden falls on Marriott's back.  As walnutbaron comments, the incident tarnishes the Marriott brand and reputation. I think that's unfair.

     

    There's something very fishy, here.

     

    For experienced travelers 'in the know' it's quite commonplace for franchisers to own and manage hotels under different brands. For example,  I've stayed at hotels owned and operated by Ocean Properties, Ltd.  This franchise operates hotels under Marriott, Starwood, Hilton and Intercontinental brands in 13 states, many in New England including one of my favorites, Marriott's Wentworth-by-the-Sea Resort & Spa* opened in 2003. 

     

    Getting under the hood took a bit of Sherlock Holmes combined with CSI.  The Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa is listed under the portfolio of Meyer Jabara Hotels of Danbury, CT and West Palm Beach, FL.  In addition to Marriott and Courtyard brands, Meyer Jabara Hotels lists Hilton, Sheraton and Intercontinental brands.  This fall, Meyer Jabara Hotels will open its first Hyatt property.  Speculating, could Marriott International be the target of fierce and unfair brand competition?

     

    Going deeper, ConnPost.com published additional facts

    • "one of the AIG group of insurance companies, directed the defense" 
    • "court documents listed defendants as Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa, HD Realty Associates, HD Hotel LLC, Meyer Jabara Hotels and Marriott International Inc. Meyer Jabara maintains and operates the structures, including the parking garage, according to court documents. HD Realty is the franchisee, the documents stated."

     

    So far, Google searches fail to bring up articles referring to the other defendants in the case. This is very suspect, IMO.  Where's the objectivity and responsibility of USAToday and the Washington Post?

     

    With over 3,500 properties under the Marriott brands, I am reasonably confident that Marriott has developed and published security and loss prevention standards.  This is very evident at properties managed by Ocean Properties.  What went wrong with Meyer Jabara Hotels?  To what extent does Marriott International inspect and confirm that their standards are implemented and followed? 

     

    As far as I'm concerned, the jury is still out.

     

    *    

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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