State Attorney General Bob Ferguson on Wednesday announced the claims process is now open for more than 100,000 guests whose private information was released by national hotel chain Motel 6 without their knowledge or consent to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Those individuals are eligible for their share of the $12 million resolution that resulted from Ferguson’s lawsuit against Motel 6, according to a State Attorney General’s Office news release.
Guests who stayed at one of seven Motel 6 locations in Washington state between Jan. 1, 2015 and Sept. 17, 2017 may be eligible for restitution and can file a claim online at WashingtonMotel6Settlement.com. The locations are: Bellingham, North Everett, South Everett, South Seattle, South Tacoma and two SeaTac locations.
Provided they file a claim, all guests whose personal information was unlawfully handed over to ICE without their knowledge or consent will receive a share of the restitution. The amount of restitution each individual receives will depend on a number of factors, including the number of claims and the severity of harms suffered due to Motel 6’s conduct.
The third-party companies (AB Data and Centro de los Derechos del Migrante Inc.) handling the claims process are not part of the federal government and will not turn over information to immigration authorities, according to the news release. Individuals submitting a claim are not required to disclose their immigration status or pay any fees to take part.
The claim form is available in English and Spanish.
“Motel 6 violated the privacy rights of tens of thousands of Washingtonians without their knowledge or consent, and paid $12 million to avoid facing my legal team in trial,” Ferguson said in the news release. “We want to ensure everyone whose privacy was violated by Motel 6’s unlawful conduct receives some restitution, which is why we’re encouraging eligible individuals to file claims.”
Ferguson encourages consumers and their family members affected by Motel 6’s unlawful policy to file a claim for restitution.
Claims must be submitted by Dec. 31, 2019. Individuals have the option of submitting the claim form online, through the mail or via the mobile messaging app WhatsApp. More information on the claims process, including alternative ways to submit a claim for restitution and a contact number for questions, is available on the claims administrator’s website.
Affected individuals will receive a letter and claim form in the mail at the address Motel 6 had on file when they stayed at one of the motel locations. The letter contains details of the resolution and how to submit a claim; however, individuals can also fill out online claims forms and do not need the letter or to wait to file a claim.
The amount of restitution a guest receives will vary. Guests whose information Motel 6 shared with ICE, but who suffered no further consequences, are still eligible for compensation. Guests who faced questioning, arrest or deportation will receive more restitution for the serious harms they suffered as a result of Motel 6’s actions.
Individuals who suffered harm from investigation, detention or deportation following their stay at one of the seven Motel 6 locations will have an opportunity to share their experience in order to secure compensation as part of the claims process. Binational migrants’ rights organization Centro de los Derechos del Migrante Inc. (CDM) will contact these individuals to discuss the harms they experienced and complete the claims process.