One of the largest plaintiffs' litigation firms in the U.S., Motley Rice LLC, today announced that it has filed suit against Hilton International Company, Hilton Hotels Corporation and Hilton Group PLC, on behalf of several victims of a terrorist bombing that took place in the Hilton Hotel in Taba City, Egypt on October 7, 2004. The suit alleges that the hotel was negligent in properly securing the well-being of its guests - this lack of security thus enabling a suicide bomber to drive into the hotel and detonate a bomb.
The plaintiffs, two American families temporarily living in Israel on assignment with the United States Army Corps of Engineers and traveling together with their children, as well as an Israeli family, arrived at the Taba Hilton Hotel October 7, 2004 for a brief vacation. That evening, an unidentified male and accomplice drove an automobile laden with explosives into the lobby of the hotel and detonated the bomb, destroying the lobby and completely blowing off one side of the building. Thirty-five people were killed and more than one hundred others, including the plaintiffs, were injured in the blast.
"My son, by himself at the time of the explosion, was needlessly forced to endure a horrifying experience and witness grisly scenes that will forever be etched in his young mind," stated one of the plaintiffs. "We recognize that this lawsuit will not erase these images and feelings from our daily thoughts and those of our children, but we hope that our actions will be a first step in ensuring that this doesn't happen to other innocent people."
Israeli plaintiff Yuri Faizakov agreed, stating, "There is no amount of compensation that can replace long term joy, or make you feel safe, or ensure your kid's mental health. Hilton's management, as an entity, needs to be punished for its blatant and deliberate neglect and mismanagement, to make sure something like this never happens again."
The suit claims that Hilton Hotels breached their duty to provide guests with reasonable and adequate security, supervision and management in failing to implement basic security measures despite numerous recommendations for improved security from security consultants, warnings of imminent terrorist threats to all hotels in the Sinai region, and action by neighboring hotels adopting additional security precautions. It is alleged that the fact that a terrorist was able to drive an explosive-laden car directly into the hotel lobby and detonate a bomb with the greatest of ease is a direct result of the Hilton Hotel ignoring the conspicuous need for the increased security measures necessary for ensuring their guests' safety from extreme danger, risk of catastrophic injury and emotional trauma.
"Hilton Hotels was specifically warned by its security consultants that the greatest threat to the hotel was from terrorist car bombing attacks, yet they failed to enact the most basic security measures to prevent such a tragedy," stated Motley Rice attorney and member Michael E. Elsner.
The suit is demanding actual and punitive damages on behalf of the three families, which include minor children, claiming that the plaintiffs not only suffered bodily injury and harm to their property, but severe and permanent debilitating psychological damages, having been exposed to a gruesome scene of death and physical mutilation following the shocking and traumatizing event.
This case was filed in Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County, Florida and included the following defendants: Hilton International Company and Hilton Hotels Corporation, both Delaware corporations; and Hilton Group PLC, a UK corporation, individually.