Hotel Murder Lawsuit Settled
Layla Banks was murdered in a Starwood Hotel in Stamford while the hotel security guard was watching TV in a back room. She was only 21. Layla's family, represented by attorneys John Naizby of Naizby Law and Anthony Bonadies, filed a wrongful death claim against the Fortune 500 hotel chain. Justice for Layla was finally won on September 6, 2013, when, after a two-day trial, the multimillion dollar lawsuit was settled for a confidential amount.
Hotel Murder Could Have Been Prevented
Layla Renee Banks was an Honor Roll graduate of Trinity Catholic High School in Stamford. She was working as a receptionist at the Indian Harbor Yacht Club in Greenwich while attending Katherine Gibbs Business School. Layla aspired to become a graphic designer.
Shortly after 12:30 a.m. on October 14, 2007, Layla arrived with some friends at a party in the Starwood Hotel. The party was a continuation of a Sweet 16 celebration that had started in someone's home. It was in full swing, with rampant alcohol use among the teen and young adult partygoers, whose numbers swelled to approximately 100, according to police reports and court documents.
At the party, Layla was confronted by her former boyfriend, 20-year-old Juan Botello, who was on probation for stabbing a friend with a knife during an argument. Botello admitted later to the police that he had consumed approximately six drinks at the party before confronting Layla, who had recently broken off the relationship. He demanded to know why she hadn't returned his phone calls or emails.
They began arguing. Layla screamed for help, then ran from Botello and the party to the hotel lobby. Botello caught up with her in darkened hallway off the lobby, clamped his hand over her mouth, and threw her purse down the hall in the struggle that followed. A hotel worker started vacuuming at the end of the hallway and Layla began sobbing and crying for help. Botello panicked, pulled out a knife, and stabbed Layla around 90 times, according to medical records. Then he fled, covered in Layla's blood, through a side emergency exit, from which the alarm had been disconnected.
The body of Layla Banks was discovered by hotel workers where it lay in the hallway just after 6:00 a.m. Juan Botello pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Layla's mother, Florence Banks, rightfully claimed that her daughter's death could have been prevented if the hotel staff had not permitted underage parties.
Important Public Safety Issue
It was revealed in the trial that two weeks before Layla's murder, the Stamford Sheraton's director of security resigned, stating that he felt he did not have full control over hotel security, and that the hotel was left wide open at night. Lawyers for the plaintiffs commented that this trial addressed a very important public safety issue - hotel safety. They said it is frightening to think that we don't have the security we think we have while staying in a brand name hotel.
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For over 20 years, John has exclusively represented people (not insurance companies).
John has received the America’s Top 100 Attorneys Lifetime Achievement Award.
Since the year 2000, John has been a Board Certified Civil Lawyer.
John is a graduate and senior instructor at the Trial Lawyers College.
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