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Date: 04-25-2023

Case Style:

C.M. v. Choice Hotels International, Inc., et al.

Case Number: 3:23-cv-00868

Judge: James G. Carr

Court: United States District Court for the Northern District of Toledo (Lucas County)

Plaintiff's Attorney:

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Defendant's Attorney: Steven A. Chang

Description: Toledo, Ohio personal Injury lawyers represented PLaintiff who sued Defendant on a Trafficking Victims Protection Act violation theory.

Plaintiff claimed that she was the victim of sex trafficking that occurred at Defendant's hotel property and that the hotel defendant is liable for damages under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (“TVPRA”), 18 U.S.C. § 1595. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant knew or should have known Plaintiff was trafficked on its property and it had a statutory obligation not to benefit financially from the commercial sex trafficking under 18 U.S.C. § 1595(a); Plaintiff also asserted that Defendant “hewed to a common policy of harboring known and suspected human traffickers in exchange for financial benefit” and “actively ignoring signs of ongoing human trafficking” in its hotel.

The court ruled that the Northern District of Ohio was not a proper venue for the litigation of Plaintiff's claim.

"Masha's Law allows a minor who was a victim of sex trafficking and who suffers an injury because of a violation of the TVPRA to bring suit in any appropriate United States District Court and recover damages. 18 U.S.C. § 2255." In re Hotel TVPRA Litig. (S.D. Ohio 2023)

18 U.S.C. § 1595, provides:

(a) An individual who is a victim of a violation of this chapter may bring a civil action against the perpetrator (or whoever knowingly benefits, or attempts or conspires to benefit, financially or by receiving anything of value from participation in a venture which that person knew or should have known has engaged in an act in violation of this chapter) in an appropriate district court of the United States and may recover damages and reasonable attorneys fees.
(1) Any civil action filed under subsection (a) shall be stayed during the pendency of any criminal action arising out of the same occurrence in which the claimant is the victim.
(2) In this subsection, a “criminal action” includes investigation and prosecution and is pending until final adjudication in the trial court.
(c) No action may be maintained under subsection (a) unless it is commenced not later than the later of—
(1) 10 years after the cause of action arose; or
(2) 10 years after the victim reaches 18 years of age, if the victim was a minor at the time of the alleged offense.
(d) In any case in which the attorney general of a State has reason to believe that an interest of the residents of that State has been or is threatened or adversely affected by any person who violates section 1591, the attorney general of the State, as parens patriae, may bring a civil action against such person on behalf of the residents of the State in an appropriate district court of the United States to obtain appropriate relief.

"Sex trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. It is the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Sex trafficking is a serious crime that can have devastating consequences for victims.

There are many laws in place to protect victims of sex trafficking and to prosecute traffickers. These laws vary from state to state, but they generally include provisions for:

Prosecuting traffickers
Providing services to victims
Preventing trafficking

If you suspect that someone is being trafficked, there are several things you can do:

Report it to the police
Contact a local anti-trafficking organization
Offer support to the victim

It is important to remember that sex trafficking is a crime, and victims are not to blame. If you or someone you know is being trafficked, please get help."

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Outcome: Dismissal against defendants' without prejudice pursuant to 41(a)(1)(a)(ii) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Each party will bear its own costs. Judge James G. Carr on 5/12/2023. Related Document 18 . (D,TM) (Entered: 05/12/2023)

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