Alison Fournier, a New York investment banker, is planning to sue Starwood Hotels chain over a sex assault involving drunken man that entered her hotel room last year.
Fournier was on a business trip in Finland, staying at the Hotel Kamp in Helsinki. On Jan. 15, 2011, while asleep in bed, Fournier said she woke up to a man who stripped naked climbing into her bed groping at her, according to a lawsuit filed on Monday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan against Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.
The lawsuit said that the visibly intoxicated man described as wearing a t-shirt claimed to be Fournier's husband and was locked out of his hotel room. The man was given a room key by security at approximately 4 a.m. without any verification.
Fournier said she immediately ran to the front desk in the lobby of the hotel, but the front desk staff said, that the man was her husband, according to the suit.
To this day, I still suffer from the memories of that night and I am still not able to put it behind me, Fournier said, which prompted her to end her career in New York and move to Florida nearby her family.
Gloria Allred, Fournier's lawyer prominent for representing cases dealing with women's rights, said the man was an American who had approached Fournier earlier but was rejected. Fournier held a press conference on Monday to go public with the lawsuit to warn other women who may be travelling alone of the danger that they may face, according to Allred.
Business women have a right to safety and security and especially need that safety and security when traveling abroad, Allred told ABC News. They are particularly vulnerable when traveling alone. Starwood's negligence, misconduct and reckless disregard for the safety of Ms. Fournier has led to devastating and life changing consequences for her. ... They need to be fully accountable and make sure that this never happens again.
According to the lawsuit, Starwood, which operates above The Hotel Kamp, has not investigated the case since the incident was reported.
However, Starwood said in a statement that the hotel chain ensures proper identification before room keys are issued.
We are taking this allegation seriously and are working with the hotel in question to understand the facts and any breach of security that may have contributed to the event.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for gross negligence, economic loss, physical and emotional distress and pain and suffering, adding Alison Fournier was unable to return to work as a banker, feeling unsafe in the most ordinary circumstances.