An April 2014 lawsuit involving the rape of a guest at a former John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts property reached its conclusion with a settlement.
The suit was settled after seven days at trial ended Feb. 13, according to a news release.
In the suit, Cheri Marchionda alleged she was attacked in a double-locked Des Moines Embassy Suites Hotel room. The release names defendant John Q. Hammons Hotels Management LLC as the hotel management company and defendant Atrium TRS III LP as the hotel owner/operator. Atrium last year took over management of late hotelier John Q. Hammons’ hotel properties as its parent company, J.D. Holdings LLC, bought the assets out of bankruptcy for $1 billion, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.
Sheri Smith, a spokeswoman for Atrium, provided a statement to SBJ.
“We are highly concerned with the incident that occurred nearly five years ago at the hotel under a previous management company,” the statement reads. “We can confirm that the claims arising from this incident have been settled, but the terms and conditions of the settlement are confidential. As one of the nation’s largest hotel operators, the security and safety of our guests is a top priority.
“As the property’s new leadership, we are focused on industry-leading safety practices to provide for our guests’ well-being.”
Marchionda’s lawsuit was settled in the U.S. District Court-Southern District of Iowa for undisclosed terms in the plaintiff-victim’s favor, according to the release.
“My life can never go back to what it was, but I intend to work on behalf of others – especially women travelers – to help protect them from harm, and to better assure guest safety and security in all forms of lodging,” she said in the release. “My life was shattered, but I am determined to do what I can to spare others the dread and horror I’ve experienced.”
Marchionda was represented by Peter Villari and Paul Brandes of Villari, Brandes & Giannone PC and Michael Hanamirian of The Hanamirian Firm PC.
“While this settlement … was reached before she would testify, the jury learned through numerous witnesses what happened and details of how Cheri’s life was irrevocably and horrifically changed,” the attorneys said in a joint statement.
In her complaint, Marchionda alleged John Q. Hammons Hotels Management and Atrium failed to protect her from harm by another guest, according to the release. The suit alleged hotel staff gave a room key to Christopher LaPointe — who pleaded guilty in December 2014 to raping Marchionda and burglary and was sentenced to 20 years in prison — for her room without checking his identification and whether he had a right to the key, according to the release.
When LaPointe’s key wouldn’t open Marchionda’s door, he requested help from hotel staff to open the security latch bar, LaPointe said in his guilty plea. Atrium denied any wrongdoing on its part, according to the release.
Client and revenue growth at Seven Hills Veterinary Clinic fuels move to larger home.
Cody Ritter, owner of Base Construction & Management LLC, attributes the company's fast growth in part to keeping customers happy. Base Construction & Management LLC is one of the Springfield Business Journal 2019 Dynamic Dozen companies, recognizing the 12 fastest growing companies in the area.
"You are a leader," says Carrie Richardson, Executive Director of Leadership Springfield. She gives suggestions as to how you can develop your leadership skills.
Michael Wehreberg, Wehrenberg Design Company, discusses the shift in the last five years in web site design to mobile-first designs. Ultimately, you have to think of the human first and serve them with ease, and Google will give you credit for being mobile friendly.
Ömer Önder, owner of Springfield Diner, struggles with the process of renaming his restaurant. The process led by Dustin Myers and Jeremy Wells, owners of the branding agency Longitude LLC. Ömer expresses all of the emotions he is going through as they work together to revise his seating, menu, hours, and a name to reflect those changes.
It is projected that 10,000 people in the United States will turn 65 years old everyday for 19 years, and non profits are going to be competing over the coming years in a fierce labor market. Give Five was developed as a civic matchmaking program to help connect capable retirees with charitable organizations that need help. Greg Burris outlines the problems the program addresses, opportunities for individuals and organizations, as well as how United Way of the Ozarks is licensing to the program to share with other communities.
Jamie Kinkeade noticed most of the women in her fitness classes at The Studio were wearing Lululemon. She knew her clients were driving to Kansas City to purchase the brand, so she approached the athletic apparel company to stock their merchandise in her store, The Movement. They said "no" at first because they were not looking to expand into the Springfield market, but her persistence paid off.
With more job openings than people to fill them, it is time for your company to evaluate how you are motivating and engaging your team to help you retain and attract the best talent. Sherry Coker, Executive Director at the OTC Center for Workforce Development, walks you through tangible and intangible incentives that encourage employee engagement, performance enhancement, and higher job satisfaction.
"When we first started we thought we could pretty much do this on our own," discloses Vera Gibbons with Baby Foot®. "We thought we knew what would be great...that's not really what happened." Gibbons recommends partnering with a strong marketing partner early and give them a budget.
With four generations in the workplace, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of how each approaches brainstorming can make all the difference in arriving at the best idea. Boomer Kay Logsdon, Director of Applications at CultureWaves, and self-described fossil Millennial Locke Hilderbrand share what their trends research at CultureWaves tells us about generational differences and tips on how to bridge the gaps. Generations in the Workplace is an ongoing multi-episode series tackling the issues of generational conflict.
One year into opening Ellecor, Haden Long gave birth to her second daughter. The first five months of her life, she was with her constantly at work. "They're why we do this," Long explains.