NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A woman who said she was beaten by prostitutes at a W Hotel in Miami Beach and later said the hotel's parent company "openly allows and promotes" prostitution at its other properties has settled a lawsuit against it.
Anna Burgese alleged she was mistaken for a prostitute and attacked in the lobby of South Beach's W Hotel in January 2013.
Her lawsuit against Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., based in Stamford, Connecticut, said she was attacked from behind, slammed into a wall and thrown to the ground, leaving her with cuts and bruises. It had sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Burgese and her husband, Joseph Burgese, also said that hotel staff members helped the attackers escape by putting them in a taxi and that the hotel had failed to take precautions after previous violent episodes.
A notice of the settlement was filed in U.S. District Court in Camden on Tuesday. No details were disclosed. The Burgeses were living in Medford at the time they alleged she was attacked.
The couple expanded on their initial claims in an amended complaint filed last November, describing how they "conducted an investigation into prostitution at Starwood and W Hotels," specifically W hotels in New York, Miami and Hollywood, California.
The complaint, which charged the company with violating racketeering laws, called prostitution at the hotels "open and notorious" and said hotel staff members "openly arrange meetings with prostitutes."
A federal judge in Camden declined the company's motion to dismiss the complaint in April.
The company denied all claims made by the Burgeses and wrote in a court filing in May that any injuries were the result of "the existing or pre-existing physical condition of the Plaintiffs" and were caused by "the criminal acts of third persons over whom answering defendants had no control."
It also had sought to have any evidence uncovered by the Burgeses' investigation barred, calling the undertaking "deceptive and unethical" and a violation of rules of professional conduct.
The Burgeses' lawyer didn't comment on the settlement, citing a confidentiality agreement. A spokesman for Starwood didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment Friday.