Red Roof Inn is not a subsidiary of any of the more famous hospitality giants, such as Wyndham or Hilton, but it is one of the U.S’s largest hospitality companies in its own right, with 670 locations operating under just four brands: Red Roof Inn, Red Roof Plus, The Red Collection, and HomeTowne Studios by Red Roof.

Like all hospitality companies, Red Roof Inn has a duty to provide its guests with, if nothing else, a safe place to stay.

Below, we’ll go over the basics of what this duty covers, and discuss some of the most common reasons you might need to sue Red Roof Inn. If at any point you would prefer to discuss your case directly with a lawyer, feel free to reach out by phone or chat.

Motels Like Red Roof Inn Must Proactively Address Threats to Guest Safety

Like all land and business owners, hospitality companies have a legal duty to watch out for foreseeable mishaps on their property, and make an effort to prevent them before they happen.

A few of the most common premises hazards motels need to watch for include:

  • Slippery or uneven walkways
  • Unsound railings, stairs, balconies, etc. that are unable to bear the stress of normal use
  • Tap water temperatures that could allow scalding injuries or dangerous bacterial growth
  • Pest infestations capable of causing illness
  • Faulty appliances that could cause electrocution, carbon monoxide poisoning, or fires
  • Lack of emergency alarms, evacuation plans, and other lifesaving precautions for when fires and other disasters do occur
  • Sex trafficking, security failures and other similar crimes

As soon as management of a motel knows, or should know, that any threat to guest safety exists, the company has a duty to take all reasonable steps to address that threat.

Unfortunately, reasonableness is subjective, and companies will often argue that they’ve met a “reasonable” standard of safety by doing what everyone else does. Followed through to its logical conclusion, of course, this line of thinking would prevent safety standards from ever improving, no matter how obviously flawed they might be.

For example, it’s still rare for motels to employ lifeguards, in spite of their effectiveness at preventing drowning accidents.

A 3-year-old boy nearly died this way at a Red Roof Inn in Houston, Texas this year. He was reportedly swimming under his grandmother’s supervision, when he began to drown. The grandmother was using her laptop at the time. Although she did notice his distress and pull him out of the water in time to save his life, his injuries required hospital care.

Accidental drowning is the leading cause of death for U.S children under four years of age. It can happen suddenly and silently, and even survivable drowning accidents can cause permanent brain damage. Keeping children safe in a pool is an intensive, high-stakes task that many vacationers underestimate.

The odds of serious accidents are much lower when families have the support of trained professionals who are paid for their time and vigilance. But, of course, companies will rarely choose to hire additional workers if they can place more responsibility on guests instead.

If your family has suffered an accident at a Red Roof Inn, and you’re not sure whether the company went to all reasonable lengths to protect you, it’s always a good idea to discuss the incident with a qualified personal injury lawyer.

Red Roof Inns Have Repeatedly Failed to Provide Safe Stays for Vulnerable Guests

It’s fairly common practice for federal and local governments to rent out entire motels, in order to house large groups of people in need of immediate shelter.

Red Roof Inns have been chosen for this purpose on multiple occasions. Unfortunately, people who have been sent to Red Roof Inns during incredibly vulnerable moments in their lives have not always received the standard of hospitality that they — or, indeed, any guest — should be able to expect.

In November of 2021, a group of 56 Afghan refugees fell ill after eating a meal at their Red Roof Inn in Tucson, Arizona. Most suffered from vomiting, and six required hospital care.

To be fair, the meal was catered. Red Roof may not have had any direct role in mishandling the food, or any reason to suspect the caterer was unreliable. However, Red Roof’s use of its own kitchens has also endangered vulnerable guests.

Less than two years after the food poisoning incident, a fire started in the kitchen of a Red Roof Inn in Sutton, Massachusetts, which was being used to house homeless families at the time. The guests reportedly “self-evacuated” upon noticing the smoke, but there’s no mention of an alarm going off. One person was hospitalized with smoke inhalation. Upon examining the scene, the fire chief noted that the motel had no sprinkler system.

When a company like Red Roof Inn makes its premises available to guests, whether through housing programs or a more standard motel business model, the company is making a promise that those premises are up to code and reasonably safe. If it breaks that promise, either willfully or through an oversight, it’s liable for the results.

The Duty to Anticipate Threats Includes the Threat of Criminal Violence

Businesses like to claim that they can’t predict or be held responsible for the criminal acts of third parties, but legally, that’s often untrue. If violent crime is an established issue on or around a certain property, it’s foreseeable that guests could fall victim to it. The property owner then has a duty to provide reasonable protection, just as they would have a duty to provide heat in cold weather.

For a motel, protection against crime can mean physical protection against outside attackers, such as sturdy door locks, keycard-controlled access points, and security guards on duty. However, it can also mean policies that make it difficult for criminals to operate out of the property itself, such as requiring ID upon check-in. Some safety measures, such as security cameras in common areas, can help protect against both external and internal violence.

Red Roof Inn doesn’t have a great record of crime deterrence lately.

In Springfield, Ohio, a Red Roof Inn is one of two motels currently drawing scrutiny for their abnormally high rate of 911 calls. The Red Roof Inn has the higher rate of the two, with a whopping 227 calls this year, as of September. The incidents police have responded to at the inn during that time include drug violations, home invasion, sexual assault, and theft.

Also within the past year, there have been at least two serious incidents involving armed guests at Red Roof Inns right here in Georgia. In April, a man and woman reportedly robbed another man at gunpoint after luring him to their room at a Red Roof Inn in Newnan. Then, in August, a woman staying at the Red Roof Inn in Savannah opened fire in the lobby, wounding the front desk clerk and firing into an occupied room.

Going back just one more year, the Red Roof Inn in Richmond Hill was the scene of a territory dispute between two rival biker gangs. The conflict involved over 30 shots fired.

Needless to say, not being caught in the crossfire of one of these incidents is the very least a guest should be able to expect when booking a motel room.

Dozens of Human Trafficking Survivors Have Come Forward Against Red Roof Inn

Human trafficking is arguably both the worst and most foreseeable type of crime in a motel setting. Motels are especially attractive locations for sex traffickers to do business, because of the short-term privacy they offer.

Motels (and all other businesses, for that matter) have a legal obligation to refuse to support sex trafficking. Unfortunately, many motels not only ignore but actively enable sexual exploitation their properties, in order to profit from sex traffickers’ repeat business and/or bribes.

Red Roof Inns have recently been on the receiving end of an especially hefty outpouring of sex trafficking allegations.

Within the last three years, there have been half a dozen lawsuits filed in Georgia alone regarding alleged sex trafficking at Red Roof Inns. Locations named in the complaints include one in Norcross, one in College Park, one in Smyrna, and three in Atlanta proper. The Norcross suit involves two women who say they were trafficked there as teenagers in 2016.  Our firm currently represents some of the victims in these matters.

The Smyrna suit started with four women, but expanded to include 15 alleged victims as more people came forward. The accusations include instances of underage girls being strangled by their traffickers in full view of motel staff.

Police also rescued two other apparent sex trafficking victims from the Red Roof Inn in Smyrna, in November of 2021. This happened after the events referenced in the Smyrna lawsuit, but before the suit was filed.

Admittedly, sex trafficking is an especially prevalent issue in Georgia, but Red Roof Inn’s alleged problems with it aren’t limited by state lines.

In July of 2023, a woman with multiple injuries called 911 to report that she had been kidnapped and held against her will at three hotels over the course of three days before escaping. One of the hotels was the Red Roof Inn in Fayetteville, North Carolina. A suspect was later arrested for her kidnapping, rape, and several forms of assault and other crimes.

Just two months earlier, that same Red Roof Inn had been named in a lawsuit regarding other alleged sex trafficking incidents from 2019.

Another lawsuit filed in 2022 alleges that the staff at a Red Roof Inn in Columbus, Ohio encouraged a sex trafficking victim to hide under the front desk and “wait it out” while the trafficker who had just beaten her calmed down, without ever calling 911.

In Pennsylvania, Red Roof Inn is currently being sued by its own insurance company, because the insurance company wants to be excused from responsibility for the motel’s sex trafficking liability.

In short, if you have been sexually exploited at a Red Roof Inn, you have a right to compensation, and you are most definitely not alone.

What to Do If You’ve Been Injured or Lost a Loved One at a Red Roof Inn

If the incident that brought you to this page happened a while ago, it’s never a bad idea to check in with a lawyer about what options might still be available to you, no matter how you responded at the time. However, if the incident is fresh, you can help set yourself up for an optimal recovery by doing the following:

  1. Get to safety. If the situation that harmed you still poses an ongoing threat, like a fire or a shootout, remove yourself from danger before worrying about anything else.
  2. Preserve evidence. Hold onto all records of your Red Roof Inn stay and its consequences. If you can safely do so while still at the Red Roof Inn, also take pictures of the hazard that injured you.
  3. Cooperate with emergency services. This includes getting yourself checked out by paramedics, and filing a police report about any criminal activity.
  4. Briefly notify the motel of your incident. Do not go into detail, or accept any kind of deal. If you don’t feel comfortable contacting the motel at all, your lawyer can handle this part in its entirety. However, going this route makes choosing a lawyer all the more urgent.
  5. Find a lawyer in your area who specializes in cases like yours. The sooner you get skilled representation, the better your chances of a fair settlement.

The Stoddard Firm has experts in premises liability, personal injury, wrongful death, sex trafficking law, and innkeeper laws. Our priority is always to help our clients make the fullest recovery possible, by holding negligent companies accountable for the harm they cause. We also endeavor to make the whole experience as straightforward and stress-free as we can.

To get started with a free consultation on your case, reach out any time at 678-RESULTS, or through our online chat function.

Attorney Matt Stoddard

Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer Matt StoddardMatt Stoddard is a professional, hardworking, ethical advocate. He routinely faces some of the nation’s largest companies and some of the world’s largest insurers – opponents who have virtually unlimited resources. In these circumstances, Mr. Stoddard is comfortable. Mr. Stoddard provides his strongest efforts to his clients, and he devotes the firm’s significant financial resources to presenting the strongest case possible on their behalf. Matt understands that his clients must put their trust in him. That trust creates an obligation for Matt to work tirelessly on their behalf, and Matt Stoddard does not take that obligation lightly. [ Attorney Bio ]

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