Ritz-Carlton and guest sued by security guard after alleged incident of intoxicated battery, negligence and racial slurs

By Chelsea Partington | Dec 29, 2014

NEW ORLEANS – A security guard is suing the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and a former guest of the hotel separately.

NEW ORLEANS – A security guard is suing the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and a former guest of the hotel separately.

The hotel is being sued for alleged negligence and discrimination and a guest, Lenny Motwani, is being sued for intentional infliction of emotional distress, battery and assault.

Nicole Spotts filed suit against The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC and Motwani in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Oct. 14.

Spotts claims that on Sept. 28, 2013 she was working as a loss prevention officer at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel located at 921 Canal St. in New Orleans when a call went out at 11:50 p.m. requesting loss prevention officers to handle an allegedly intoxicated guest.

The plaintiff alleges that the call described an inebriated male guest who was being verbally aggressive towards another female hotel guest in the Ritz-Carlton grand ballroom where defendant Motwani's family's wedding ceremony was being held.

Spotts alleges that she was the first to arrive at the scene. The plaintiff claims that Motwani was causing a disturbance by screaming loudly and spewing profanities at another hotel guest, who was female. Spotts claims that she approached the female guest to inquire whether the guest was injured and to gauge whether she could defuse the situation.

Spotts claims that after checking on the female guest she approached Motwani with the goal of calming him down and discerning the reason for the disturbance. The plaintiff claims that Motwani ignored her at first, but after Spotts called for backup on her walkie-talkie, Motwani approached the plaintiff and used racial slurs to order her to keep away from him.

Spotts alleges that Motwani then proceeded to spit in her face, hit Spotts' hand as the plaintiff attempted to protect her face, and threw his drink onto Spotts' person.

The plaintiff maintains that no other security guards had yet arrived at the scene. Spotts retreated and continued to call for backup.

Spotts claims that she received medical treatment later on, at which time she was informed that Motwani had been escorted off the premises and had departed without further incident.

The plaintiff claims she eventually learned that Motwani had not been escorted off the premises, but had been allowed to go back to his room, order alcoholic beverages and room service, and was allowed check out the next day.

Lenny Motwani is accused of battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Motwani is also accused of causing a disturbance in a public facility and causing others to become fearful, of making racially charged, humiliating and demeaning remarks towards Spotts in a crowded room of people, of continuing his behavior by spitting in the plaintiff's face, and of hitting Spotts' hand and throwing the glass of his alcoholic beverage on the plaintiff.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel is accused of negligence and discrimination for failing to train their security staff, failing to properly supervise the security staff, failing to have adequate security staff present during a large event and failing to respond to the plaintiff's requests for help and assistance.

The plaintiff seeks an unknown amount in damages for severe emotional distress, severe anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, and past, present and future medical expenses, loss of earnings, enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, physical, mental and emotional pain and suffering, fear, fright and humiliation.

Nicole Spotts is represented by attorney Helen Daniel of Daniel, Williams & Associates LLC.

The case has been assigned to District E Judge Clare Jupiter.

Case no. 2014-09523.

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