A mother has decided to sue a popular hotel in Houston for allegedly turning a blind eye to human trafficking and allowing her daughter to be sold and murdered nearby.
Janiece Charlez says the Plainfield Inn and Rajan and Dahyabhai played a large role in her daughter's death, and she may be onto something. Apparently, the city and the state had recently sued the hotel and its owners for “dangerous” conditions, deeming the heavy flow of human trafficking around the hotel an unsafe place among citizens who live in the area. Since 2014, The Houston Police Department has received over 400 emergency phone calls from people asking for assistance at the Plainfield Inn. According to the department's records, these calls revealed that instances of “violent assaults, prostitution arrests, drug offenses, weapon offenses, and theft” have been occurring at the hotel for years. And now, Charlez alleges that the hospital's refusal to better its environment makes owners responsible for the death of her 21-year-old daughter Natalie Fisher.
In her lawsuit Charlez states that her daughter had been trafficked in the hotel for years when she was “brutally murdered and dumped on the side of the road less than 10 miles” away from it in 2016. She states that Plainfield Inn was and remains aware of the illegal activities, including human trafficking, at the inn and yet still continues to rent rooms to known pimps and drug dealers. Charlez alleges that the hospital refuses to take action because it profits off of the illegal acts. Her attorney, Ross Bussard claims that this lawsuit is the first in Texas to seek civil charges under human trafficking statutes, but he believes it will be the first of many. He claims that by suing the hotel and attacking the “demand side” of human trafficking on the behalf of other girls like Fisher will make it more difficult for other institutions and establishments to continue to ignore this issue.
Charlez didn't know too much about human trafficking a few year ago, but she has now become an active participant in several programs that aim to end it. She had struggled with keeping her daughter on track after her rebellious ways and teen pregnancy. Her situation mirrors the circumstances of thousands of human trafficking victims today, according to a report by a Texas prevention task force. Characteristics such as being impoverished, low self-esteem and dreams of a better life is what causes victims to be caught in the web of this form of coerced labor.
Charlez is seeking punitive damages for civil liability pertaining to human trafficking and gross negligence. A successful outcome for her would be pivotal.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of another individual or company's wrongdoing, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the attorneys at The Brod Law Firm online today or call 1-888-435-7946 (888-HELPWIN) for a free consultation. We serve all of the state of Pennsylvania from our offices in Philadelphia, Reading and Bala Cynwyd.