The headline of a story caught my eye last week – Marriott Disowns One Hotel’s Defense in Rape Case.
It seems Marriott International is seeking to distance itself from a Marriott franchise hotel’s legal defense tactic and released this statement:
“This incident is not reflective of our corporate culture or ethical standards, and we apologize to all of our guests and customers who were so deeply offended by the words used in the legal pleading.”
The court case stems from a situation where a woman was raped at gunpoint in front of her children in a hotel parking garage, which was obviously a horrible experience for her and her children.
The story goes on to explain that the insurance company attorneys for the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa filed court papers saying the woman “failed to exercise due care for her own safety and the safety of her children and proper use of her senses and facilities.”
The legal team filed this response to a lawsuit the woman filed which said the hotel failed to adequately police the parking lot or train security employees at the time of the attack.
Are there any lessons learned in this story? Yes, there are multiple lessons learned for the hotel management, the legal team, the parent corporation, the victim and other organizations too.
Are you and your staff prepared to prevent this type of incident from happening on your property?
Are your organization and your legal team (internal or external) operating on the same page of music?
Do you have a reputation management strategy? Does anyone else know what the strategy is?
Implementing processes and procedures and strategies can be far less costly than dealing with headlines and lawsuits and reputation damage.