The owner of a US-based hotel register service dog that was found dead in a drawer at the register on March 2 has been awarded $2.5 million in a wrongful death lawsuit, according to a new filing.
The owner, who goes by “Samantha” in the lawsuit, is seeking $2 million in damages from the owner of the motel in Arizona, according a complaint filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Arizona on Thursday.
Samanthas husband, Steven, also is named in the suit.
The case, filed on behalf of Samantha’s mother, is one of the largest wrongful death cases in Arizona history.
In October, the Arizona Court of Appeals upheld a $2-million judgment against the motel owner and the hotel for failing to adequately train a service dog and for failing the standards for service dogs at the time of the death.
Sara Wasser, an attorney for Samantha, told News24 that Samantha was trained by the American Hotel and Lodging Association and American Kennel Club.
“I don’t know how much of a compensation the motel is going to receive for this, but it’s a substantial amount of money for what she suffered,” she said.
The American Kennels Club has been an advocate for service dog training and adoption, and the American Hospital Association is committed to the advancement of canine care and training, the association said in a statement to News24.
“In addition to Samantha’s service dog being an asset to the community, the family has also benefited from the continued care and attention of her family,” the statement said.
Slammed as ‘sick and sad’Samaneth was an employee at the motel and a part of the staff of the guest house.
She was killed by a hotel employee who was trying to retrieve a cash register drawer for the register, the lawsuit said.
When she refused to comply with the employee’s orders to retrieve the drawer, the employee pulled out a gun and shot her.
The gun was recovered and was found in the hotel’s basement, where it was later found to have been left behind by the deceased employee.
A grand jury in Phoenix indicted the motel’s manager, Thomas J. Brown, on three counts of murder in January and indicted the hotel manager on three additional counts of aggravated assault.
The two men are scheduled to go on trial in May.