Motel 6 will pay up to $7.6 million to Hispanic guests to settle a proposed class-action lawsuit that the company violated their privacy by regularly providing guest lists to ICE agents. Terms of the preliminary settlement were disclosed Nov. 2 in filings with the federal court in Phoenix.
Motel 6 also agreed not to share guest data with ICE for two years outside of warrants, subpoenas, or threats of serious crime or harm.
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed the lawsuit after the Phoenix New Times reported that ICE had arrested 20 people at Motel 6s in Arizona, using guest lists provided by the company to target people by national origin.
“Motel 6 fully recognizes the seriousness of the situation and accepts full responsibility for both compensating those who were harmed and taking the necessary steps to ensure that we protect the privacy of our guests,” Motel 6 and MALDEF said in a joint statement.
$5.6 million will go to the guests who faced immigration removal proceedings after their personal information was shared. Each being eligible to receive at least $7,500. $1 million will be set aside for guests who were questioned or interrogated by immigration authorities, each guest receiving $1,000. The remaining $1 million will go to guests whose information was turned over to immigration authorities from Feb. 1, 2017 to Nov. 2, 2018, each will receive $50. Motel 6 will also pay up to $1.3 million for the legal fees and administrative costs of the lawsuit.
Motel 6’s management company has said it ordered its 1,400 U.S. and Canadian locations to stop voluntarily giving guest lists to ICE agents.
The case is Jane V. et al v Motel 6 Operating LP et al, U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, No. 18-00242.