The mother of Kenneka Jenkins, who was found dead in a freezer at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the establishment.
According to the lawsuit, Jenkins went missing in the early morning of Sept. 9, 2017 after going to a party held in a room at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Her family came to look for her, but authorities didn’t discover her body until 20 hours later. Video camera footage showed Jenkins stumbling through the hallways until she entered the kitchen.
An autopsy report found that Jenkins died of hypothermia. She also had alcohol and drugs used to treat epilepsy and migraines in her system.
The lawsuit claims that the hotel failed to secure the freezer and conduct a proper search when Jenkins went missing. The freezer she was found in also had “a sticker affixed that was completely faded and failed to instruct how to release the lock system of the door.”
The lawsuit also says that Jenkins went by several hotel employees when she was stumbling around the hallways.
“Had Crowne Plaza defendants and employees and/or agents of defendant Capital Security properly intervened when they observed (Jenkins) visibly disoriented, confused and lost within their premises, they would have prevented her from entering the abandoned kitchen and prevented her death,” the lawsuit says.
Jenkins’ family is seeking more than $50 million from the lawsuit.
A spokesman for Crowne Plaza Hotel said the establishment plans to fight the lawsuit.
“The death of Kenneka Jenkins was a tragedy, but the proximate cause of her death were the unsavory individuals who used a stolen credit card to book a room and host an illegal party which Ms. Jenkins attended,” he said. “Those criminals escaped the hotel before police arrived and have never truly been held accountable. This lawsuit has no merit and we will vigorously contest it.”