Were you a victim of sex trafficking? If you are a survivor of sex trafficking, you might be looking for ways in which you could hold liable parties accountable for the harm that you suffered. Depending on the details surrounding your current situation, you might have grounds to sue a hotel or motel for the sexual trafficking that you suffered. If you would like to learn more about the possibility of pursuing a claim against a hotel or a motel, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance at your earliest convenience.
If you are in need of legal assistance, do not hesitate to contact the experts at Downtown L.A. Law Group as soon as possible. Downtown L.A. Law Group is a personal injury law firm with many years of experience handling all sorts of claims – always focused on representing the victims in need of legal assistance. Our lawyers are ready to handle your claim and provide you with the guidance that you need to take legal action immediately.
What is Sex Trafficking?
Sex trafficking is, unfortunately, very common. It occurs when someone (through the use of force, coercion, or fraud) causes a commercial sex act. A commercial sex act consists of pornography, prostitution, or any sexual performance executed in exchange for money (although drugs, clothes, food, shelter, and other items of value are other forms of payment). Sex trafficking includes consists of three different types of people: the buyers who are making the demand and fueling the market with their money; the traffickers who are exploiting victims and making transactions with the buyers; the victims who are exploited and bought/sold for sex.
Sex Trafficking Statistics
Most of us are never directly affected by sex trafficking; rather, we are exposed to sex trafficking as depicted on television, the movies, and even on the news. Because of this, the different statistics available can catch us by surprise.
Consider the following statistics:
- According to Polaris, there are more than 9,000 illicit spas (in which commercial sex occurs) operating across the U.S.
- According to Polaris, there were almost 8,000 reported cases of sex trafficking in 2018 in the U.S. alone.
- According to the International Labour Organization, an astounding 99% of the adults and children victimized by sex trafficking are female.
- According to the International Labour Organization, forced sexual labor left the sex trafficking industry with up to $99 billion worldwide
- According to the Journal of Human Trafficking, illicit spas in the U.S. make almost $3 billion a year.
- According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 1 in every 7 runaways reported in 2018 fell victim to sex trafficking.
- According to the United Nations’ International Labour Organization, almost 5 million people (3.8 adults and 1 million children) were victims of sex trafficking in 2016 around the world.
Sex Trafficking in Hotels and Motels
According to Polaris, 605 of the 7,859 sex trafficking cases reported in the U.S. were hotel- and motel-based in 2018. Since the National Human Trafficking Hotline began collecting data in 2007, they have recorded at east 3,596 cases in which the victim was in a hotel/motel at one point during their trafficking. In fact, approximately 75% of survivors (who answered a Polaris survey) reported that they encountered hotels or motels at some point. According to Polaris’ survivor survey, 80% of survivors claimed that commercial sex occurred at a hotel/motel. 20% of survivors claimed that they were housed at hotels/motels by their traffickers. Additionally, 4% of survivors claimed that they were trafficked by the hotel/motel.
Hotels and motels are used by traffickers for a number of reasons. Traffickers and victims can book rooms cash and with little to no identification. Traffickers can also book long-term stays and switch to other motels/hotels quickly and without much hassle. Buyers can also visit the rooms frequently and remain anonymous.
Without a doubt, hotels and motels play an important role in sex trafficking. In many cases, hotel and motel staff do not have the appropriate training to identify or deal with sex trafficking. In other cases, hotel and motel staff blatantly ignore the clear signs of sex trafficking.
The Signs that Hotels and Motels often Ignore
There are a number of sighs that hotel and motel staff should look out for to possibly recognize sex trafficking. Some of these signs include the following:
- An influx of men entering and exiting the room
- Arriving wearing revealing clothing and without any apparent luggage/bags or other personal belongings
- Avoiding eye contact or any interaction with others
- Being constantly monitored by others
- Constantly having people in the room
- Constantly refusing room service
- Guests paying for stays in cash
- Having no control over their own money or identification cards
- Malnourishment, poor hygiene, confinement
- Minor girls checking into hotels/motels with older men
- Nervousness, anxiety, fear
- Physical abuse (bruising, scrapes, etc.)
- Staying in hotels or motels long-term (weeks at a time)
- Using side entrances to enter premises
In addition to these signs, there could be many other signs that could point to sex trafficking occurring on the premises of hotels and motels. Unfortunately, motel and hotel staff often fail to identify these signs; in some cases, staff purposefully ignores these signs.
Understanding Liability for Sex Trafficking
How can a motel or hotel be liable for sex trafficking? The first thing to note is that hotels and motels owe their guests a duty of care. They must keep their premises safe and promote the safety of their guests. So, what could hotel and motel owners/management do in regard to sex trafficking?
Responsible hotel and motel owners/management would do all of the following:
- Train staff on the severity and danger of sex trafficking
- Train staff on how to identify victims of sex trafficking
- Train staff on the protocol to follow when they suspect that sex trafficking is occurring on the premises
This seems reasonably enough, right? Unfortunately, hotel and motel staff often never receive any sort of training regarding sex trafficking. In some cases, staff ignores obvious signs of sex trafficking. In yet other cases, staff help conceal traffickers and their victims.
What does the law say about hotels, motels, and liability for trafficking? Federal law, specifically the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), states that hotels and motels can be held liable (both civilly and criminally) for allowing sex trafficking to occur on their premises. Specifically, any entity who benefited financially in any way from the sex trafficking could be held liable. For example, a hotel or motel benefits every time someone books a room with them. If a trafficker rented a room for the purpose of commercial sex, the hotel/motel directly benefited from the victimization given that the hotel/motel knew or should have known that human and sex trafficking laws were being violated.
If hotel or motel staff failed to act because of negligence (or even intentional actions), they could be held accountable. Victims could take legal action against the hotels and motels that failed to do anything to help their dangerous situation. For more information on hotel and motel liability for sex trafficking, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance today.
You Could Sue the Hotel or Motel
Hotels and motels owe their guests of duty of care. By failing to keep their premises and their guests safe, they are breaching their duty of care and could be held accountable for the harm suffered. Do you have the right to sue a hotel or motel for the sex trafficking that you suffered on their premises? Without a doubt, you have the right to sue a hotel or motel for the trafficking which you suffered. If you would like to learn more about your right to sue a motel or a hotel, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with our law firm at your earliest convenience.
You Could Receive Monetary Compensation
Depending on the details surrounding your claim, you might be eligible to recover at least some sort of compensation for the harm that you suffered. How much compensation could you be eligible to receive? What type of compensation could you be eligible to recover? The answer to these questions will always depend on the details surrounding your claim.
Although every claim is different, you might be eligible to receive compensation for some of the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Punitive damages
There is no amount of monetary compensation that could reverse the harm that you and your family suffered because of sex trafficking; however, recovering compensation can certainly help you and your entire family move forward with your life. If you would like to learn more about the type and amount of compensation that you could receive, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with our law firm at your earliest convenience.
Our experienced attorneys are ready to evaluate your claim and fight for your right to recover the highest among of compensation available for recovery. Whether our experts must negotiate a settlement or take your lawsuit to trial, you can ensure that they will not rest until you recover what you are rightfully owed.
Policy Changes in Response to Lawsuits
In some cases, successful lawsuits against hotels and motels could result in policy changes – policy changes that could save many others from sex trafficking. For example, hotels and motels might be required to train their new and existing employees with regard to sex trafficking. Hotels and motels might also be required to provide information and training of identifying victims, for instance. Hotels and motels might also be required to create a procedure that staff must follow when they suspect sex trafficking is happening on the premises. Although a successful claim outcome could result to policy changes within hotels and motels, the specific changes will vary on a case by case basis. These changes could prevent future victims from going unnoticed or ignored.
Contact Our Law Firm Today
If you were a victim of sex trafficking, you might be focused on getting your life back to normal – or as normal as possible after the trauma that you experienced during the time that you were trafficked. You might have pursued criminal charges against your captors and traffickers, but have you considered the possibility of pursuing any action against the motels and hotels in which you were trafficked? Unfortunately, many victims of trafficking do not consider this possibility – but how many times were you ignored by motel and hotel staff when you pleaded for help? Motels and hotels (specifically, their owners and management) could be held liable for sex trafficking. You could pursue a claim against hotels and motels.
If you would like to learn more about the possibility of pursuing a sex trafficking claim against a hotel or a motel, do not hesitate to contact our law firm at your earliest convenience. The experts at our law firm are ready to evaluate your situation and provide you with the guidance that you need to take legal action. Specifically, our experts are dedicated to remaining accessible to all victims. Therefore, we offer free legal services, which include free consultations and free second opinions.
During our free consultations and free second opinions, our lawyers will be available to provide you with all the information that you might need. Our lawyers will answer all your questions and address all your concerns. Whether you are interested in starting or continuing your lawsuit, you can trust that our experts will provide you with all the information that you need to pursue your claim. To benefit from our free consultations and free second opinions, do not hesitate to contact our law firm immediately.
Our free legal services are available as part of our Zero-Fee guarantee. Our Zero-Fee guarantee ensures that our clients never have to worry about paying any upfront legal fees for any of our legal services. Our firm is also strictly based on contingency; therefore, our clients will not be required to pay anything until after reaching a successful claim outcome – if you do not win, you will not be responsible for covering any legal fees.
If you are ready to discuss your claim with the experts at our law firm, do not hesitate to contact us at your earliest convenience.