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San Francisco tourists sue Marriott after the hotel hands the customer’s luggage to the alleged criminal

San Francisco- Research team of sister station KGO Lawyers allege that it’s a loophole in the law that prevents hotels across California from paying guests actual damages.

Imagine you booked a hotel. The hotel accidentally handed everything to the alleged criminal without verifying a valid ID. It happened to Bob Sabouni in San Francisco.

According to a court ruling, Sabouni lost $ 8,390.88 in his belongings. He sued San Francisco Marriott Marquis and won. Surprisingly, Marriott has appealed to the proceedings. However, a judge in the state high court overseeing the case ruled that it was done unfairly.

How this happened.

Bob’s story

What was supposed to be a summer vacation after the blockade in San Francisco turned into a legal nightmare for Bob Sabouni.

In June 2021, Sabouni and his friends checked in at San Francisco Marriott Marquis before heading to the Giants match. Sabouni said his room wasn’t ready, so the hotel offered to keep his bag.

“Then we went into the game and had a great time. The Giants won!” Sabouni said.

Later that night, Sabouni returned to a great loss.

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“Everyone’s was there, except mine,” he said.

Sabouni said he couldn’t find any luggage, including Briggs & Riley’s foldable bag, Tumi’s leather backpack, iPad Pro, MacBook Pro, Social Security numbered 4TB hard drive, and seven-year tax documents. .. ..

“The next morning I talked to the manager who said they were looking into it, and I knew they had given mine to someone else,” Sabouni said.

According to a court ruling, hotel surveillance footage shows that a man who set foot in Marriott late in the afternoon claimed to have checked his bag but lost his claim check.

“Surprisingly, Marriott put the man in the back room. He pointed to my bag and said it was mine … the man said.?’And The man said, “I don’t have it,” but he just said that there was a computer in the bag. ” Sabouni said.

“Sure enough, and they just handed me mine,” he added.

Sabouni said in the weeks that followed, the hotel did not want to compensate for his loss unless he provided a receipt for all items. Dissatisfied with the process, Sabouni later sued Marriott in a small court and won.

“The judge gave us $ 5,000, which was far from the nearly $ 9,000 I lost, but I was happy,” Sabouni said.

But that’s not the only story.

Court struggle

After that, Marriott Law enacted in 1872 -Also known as the Inkeeper’s decree-this limits the hotel’s liability to the guest’s property to $ 1,000. According to Judge Jeff Ross of the San Francisco Superior Court, Marriott won the appeal, but it was not fair. He wrote:

“This is one of the rare cases where the law does not allow courts to achieve impartial results.”

According to a court ruling, Ross emphasized the fact that the law is outdated and stated part of the law. “It has not been revised for the current value of luggage, clothing, and especially computer equipment and its data.”

“Prices have risen significantly since the law was first enacted,” said Jim Wilcox, a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley Business School.

According to Wilcox, prices for goods and services have increased 20 to 25 times since the law was first enacted in 1872. However, in 2022, California hotels will be responsible for goods up to $ 1,000.

“Compared to when the law was first enacted, $ 1,000 is equivalent in terms of actual purchasing power. [to] The limit is about $ 25,000. “

Ross wrote in a court ruling: “You might expect Marriott to recognize the anomaly and make decisions for the benefit of the customer relationship. Instead, Marriott has appealed.”

KGO contacted Marriott for a camera interview, but the hotel owner refused to speak or comment.

Sabouni rated the stolen item as worth nearly $ 8,400. However, according to Marriott’s court outline, the law only liables the hotel $ 500.

“We need to modernize with the times. Physical computers may be worth an” x “dollar, but what’s there is more valuable,” said the founder of Belous Law Firm. Relani Belous said. “You have an industry that has a free jailbreak card.”

Inkeeper legislation hasn’t been amended for 42 years, forcing consumers like Sabouni to pay the price.

“For me, it’s a matter of taking responsibility for the safety of our customers and not giving them this shield,” Sabouni said.

After the appeal, the court ordered Marriott to pay Sabouni $ 1,553 for the mistakes made by his staff. Meanwhile, Sabouni told KGO that he had spent more than $ 10,000 to fight the proceedings, given his losses.

Now the question: is it time to change the law?

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San Francisco tourists sue Marriott after the hotel hands the customer’s luggage to the alleged criminal

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