New Jersey Woman Sues W Hotel After Beat Down By Prostitutes In Miami

Starwood_Hotels_and_Resorts_Worldwide_logo220px-10.3010_Torino-nightlife.v2There is an interesting tort case out of Miami where a New Jersey woman, Anna Burgese, is suing W Hotel (owned by Starwood) after a beat down by prostitutes outside of the hotel. Burgese says that the hotel is widely known as catering to a large prostitution business and failed to protect guests. Police believe that the prostitutes assumed that Burgese was a “working girl” intruding on their territory.


Burgese says that both she and her husband, Joseph, were attacked after walking through the W Hotel lobby. The Burgese’s lawsuit claimed that the W Hotel “fosters a prostitute-friendly environment where prostitutes are permitted to market themselves on the premises, as evidenced by, among other things, the reviews left on various travel websites by former guests.” The question is how that prior knowledge affects her claim in later being attacked by those prostitutes.

There are some striking similarities to the case of Kline v. 1500 Massachusetts Avenue. In Kline a landlord was found liable for not taking precautions to protect tenants from crime in an apartment building in Washington. That case involved a tenant who remained on the property during years of decline of the neighborhood in Washington, D.C., but continued as an at-will tenant. She was aware of the crime in the area and the building. However, the court still held that the landlord was liable even though he met housing regulations. He still violated the implied warranty of habitability.

The same logic could be used in this case. However, these cases continue to work against the general rule that criminal acts by third parties cut off proximate causation. It comes down to a question of foreseeability and the failure of taking reasonable steps to protect guests.

Here the couple is arguing that the staff “knew who the attackers were” and yet did not cooperate in identifying the attackers.

Source: CBS

17 thoughts on “New Jersey Woman Sues W Hotel After Beat Down By Prostitutes In Miami”

  1. “fosters a prostitute-friendly environment
    =====================================================

    sounds like a house i shared with two other guys right after high school.

  2. Women like to control their man so a prostitute is a threat to their control. If prostitution were legal then marriage might go by the wayside.

  3. G.Mason
    1, June 5, 2013 at 11:24 am
    Legalize prostitution as it should be and this all goes away.
    ————-
    No, I used to be pro-legalize it then I studied up on trafficking. Legal prostitution would be a nightmare and there would be little legal recourse for abuses….and little control of the abusers. Prostitution is not ‘pretty’…it’s a phucking travesty against human rights….

  4. nick,

    Yeah … I told him about the hookers beating up a female guest and how we might want to change our usual preference for the W. He thought about it for maybe 2 seconds and told me we should continue using the W but get separate rooms so he doesn’t get caught in the crossfire when the hookers attack me.

    Ha! I may have been born at night but it wasn’t last night!

  5. Blouise, Has Tex been the person booking the W hotel??? I do the bookings in our family. However, I’ve been to the W in LA, Chicago, and maybe somewhere else and never saw a problem like this. “Forget it Jake, it’s Miami” may be the problem.

  6. I don’t see how the hotel would have to be expected to have clairvoyance to know that at some given moment the hookers would attack this particular person. Maybe there is more to this story.

  7. I live a few blocks away from that hotel and I have to say that in Miami Beach it’s kind of standard attire to dress like what would be perceived as a hooker in any other city. On any given weekend the city’s population is dwarfed by tourists who mostly don leopard print mini dresses and 5 inch heels. So saying that anyone would walk by and say you are a hooker and then beat you up based on what you are wearing is pretty unbelievable. I have a feeling that there is a bit more to this story.

  8. I forgot to add that it will also help remove much of the street hookers as it will be safer for them to go work for a legal bordello.

  9. Legalize prostitution as it should be and this all goes away. Just issue licenses that require testing every 3 months give or take. Require HPV vaccinations.

    1. Massive savings on Law Enforcement. Can scale down police forces which save salaries and benefits.
    2. Savings on Judicial. Less strain on the system
    3. Massive savings on incarceration. No more wasting money locking up people for morality charges.
    4. Gain increase on tax revenues upon licenses, business licenses, and businesses revenues
    5. Decrease revenues for criminal gangs, many of whom make much of their revenues from prostitution.

    Fact is the law has no right telling legal consenting adults how or why they can have sex.

    Legalize it and we shall go from budget strains to boosts in revenue.

  10. From my experience this woman’s claim is true….. I can’t say how I know about Miami…. But I can say its very familiar territory in Austin….. And from what I’ve heard through the years…. They are high dollar….

  11. If I were the W, I’d settle this thing quickly … talk about a PR disaster.

    I say that because Tex and I regularly choose the W when traveling … regularly up till now.

  12. If this is like other Ws, its target demographic is would-be hipsters rather than the usual convention trade. In terms of sex workers that could lean high end (South Beach modeling wannabes) or low end (studied slumming on the part of the ‘johns”).

  13. In my varied careers, I was a house dick @ the Drake Hotel in Chicago. During conventions we would have the Walmart genre of hookers but not many. We would just give them the “hookers rush” from the lobby and promenade. We didn’t have authority to kick them off the sidewalk, but would call Chicago’s finest if they wouldn’t leave upon our request. The clientele of the Drake was more the Elliot Spitzer call girl types. The W Hotels are upscale ala the Drake, so this suit is a bit suspect to me. My caveat is I don’t know the Miami W and of course, it is Miami! I step out of my assigned specialties of “sports and movies” w/ some trepidations.

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