Hotel Found Guilty

Jury awards $85,000 against hotel for subjecting family to pornography

Norwalk, CA — October 12, 2007

Edwina McCombs, a Tennessee resident, who was visiting Southern California to vacation with her 8 and 9 year old daughters, was awarded $85,000 today when a jury found Value Lodge, an Artesia motel, liable for involuntarily subjecting her girls to hard-core pornographic movies.

Ms. McCombs checked into the Value Lodge where she informed the front desk that she was there with her two young daughters. When she was in the room, Ms. McCombs went to take a bath and the children turned on the television to watch a children’s show. Instead, the children were subjected to hard-core pornography with close-up images of people engaged in sodomy and homosexual acts.

Leejanice Toback, an attorney for McCombs, stated that this is probably the first such verdict against a hotel or motel for showing pornography.

"This shows that hotels cannot ignore the duty of care they owe their patrons. If hotels don’t have lock-outs that prevent young children from being involuntarily subjected to pornography, they will be liable," said Eliot Krieger.

The trial lasted two weeks. During the trial, the plaintiffs presented testimony from hotel expert Alan Snyder, who commented that in his thirty years experience, he has never seen a family hotel where some affirmative action was not necessary in order to access adult material. Although the motel claimed that there were signs warning the patrons that the adult channel could be turned off by the front desk, interviews with the jury indicated that no one believed it.

The plainitffs also called Dr. Michael Perrotti, who extensively tested the children and described the harm that exposure to pornographic images have on young children. Dr. Perrotti stated that a child’s mind is like a hard drive on a computer and the images once implanted, are difficult to remove. The girl’s parents and attorneys Leejanice Toback and Eliot F. Krieger are thrilled with the verdict and the message it sends.

Jarvis & Krieger
5199 East Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 510
Long Beach, California 90804
Phone: (562) 597-7070
Fax: (562) 597-7772