Family Awarded Millions Over Teen’s Hotel Freezer Death

Judge Says Government Hasn’t Proven Trump Search Warrant Affidavit Should Remain Sealed

( – After 6 years, the family of Kenneka Jenkins, who tragically died in a hotel freezer in Illinois, has reached a $10 million settlement. Jenkins, 19, froze to death from hypothermia after a disorienting episode caused by a combination of alcohol and medications for migraines and epilepsy. She had been in the walk-in freezer for 21 hours before her discovery, ruled as an accidental death by the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

In 2018, the family filed a lawsuit, claiming negligence on the part of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont, the hotel’s restaurant, and a security company. The suit contended that the freezer was inadequately secured, and that the search for Jenkins was ineffective.

According to recently disclosed court records, Tereasa Martin, Jenkins’ mother, will receive almost $4 million. Other family members will collectively receive $2.7 million, attorney fees will amount to $3.5 million, and $6,000 is allocated for Jenkins’ funeral costs.

Kenneka Jenkins’ death in 2017 garnered national attention. She had attended a party on the sixth floor of the hotel and was reported missing by her friends around 4 AM. Tereasa Martin contacted the hotel, expecting staff to review surveillance footage to locate her daughter. However, neither the hotel staff nor security had reviewed the tape, as indicated in the lawsuit. Subsequently, when the police arrived to investigate, it appeared they were the first to review the surveillance footage, and because it was so long after she was reported missing, anything could have happened to her in that period of time.

Law enforcement, hours later, discovered video footage showing Jenkins entering the freezer in the very early hours around 3:30 in the morning. The lawsuit asserted that had the hotel adequately monitored security cameras, Jenkins could have been found before her tragic demise. The settlement brings some closure to this heart-breaking incident that shook the nation in 2017.

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