Monthly Archives: October 2016

15 October 1997 Bombing of the Galadari Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka

At 7:00 am on 15 October 1997, terrorists from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) attacked the Galadari Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka, with a massive truck bomb. The main target was, however, the 39-story Sri Lanka World Trade Center that sat directly next to the hotel. The Hilton Colombo was a mere 400 feet from the Galadari. The blast and the light infantry attacks that followed killed 15 and wounded 105. The Galadari Hotel was then, and remains, a five star luxury hotel in the heart of Colombo’s business and government district. It is located at Lotus Rd, Colombo 00100, Sri Lanka. The attack point was a mere 200 yards from a suicide bombing that targeted the Central Bank in 1996, killing 88 and wounding 1,400. The hotel/Trade Center attack was one of hundreds that had happened in Sri Lanka’s bloody … Continue reading

10 October 2016, UK Pool Re announces international terrorism risk pool forum

On 10 October, the Insurance Journal wrote that the UK’s government-backed Pool Re, which covers commercial property losses from terror attacks, had launched the International Forum of Terrorism Risk Re/Insurance Pools (IFTRIP.) IFTRIP is designed to build relationships and increase cooperation amongst other national pool res around the world. It was started in response to the dramatic increase in global terrorism. The Insurance Journal reported the following key points about IFTRIP: IFTRIP was formally launched on 10 October 2016 at the 2nd Annual Global Terrorism Risk Insurance Congress, hosted by the Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation (ARPC,) Australia’s pool re, in Canberra The overarching goals of IFTRIP are to: 1) improve how the insurance sector reacts to terrorism, and 2) improve how nations protect their respective economies The presidency of IFTRIP will revolve on a yearly basis Francois Vilnet, Vice President of France’s pool … Continue reading

12 October 2016, William Michael Jr. of Mayer Brown LLP, writes about hotel liabilities

On 12 October, William Michael Jr. of Mayer Brown LLP, published an informative article on hotel liabilities related to terrorism titled, “Hotels at Risk: The Legal Consequences of Terrorist Attacks on Hotels.” It was posted on Lexology.com. In the article, Mr. Michael discusses the rise of terror attacks on hotels, the three main defenses used by hotels in terror attack lawsuits, and the circumstances where hotel legal defenses typically fail. Michael writes, “Negligent security cases that advance past the summary judgment stage typically involve special facts indicating that the defendant could or did reasonably foresee the attack.” Missing from the article is the concept of “totality of circumstances,” a concept that is increasingly being used to fight against typical hotel legal defenses in terror attack cases. In very approximate terms, totality of circumstances broadly means that, since there is so much terrorist violence directed at hotels … Continue reading

8 October 2016, Singapore increases hotel security

On 8 October, Jeremy Koh of The Straits Times wrote a telling piece describing how Singapore has increased hotel security in light of the global increase of terrorism. Mr. Koh wrote: “Mr Steve Tan, executive secretary for the security employees union, told The Straits Times that hotels and other building owners have stepped up security over the past few years. But in the last 12 months, these preparations have increased further as the terror threat has moved closer to home. For example, in the past, people may not have prepared for an improvised explosive device scenario, but now this is not out of the question.” Hotels that The Straits Times said had increased security included, but were not limited to, the Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa, the Sheraton Towers Singapore, and the Parkroyal. As coordinated as Singapore is regarding security, the number of hotels participating in the increased … Continue reading

3 October 2016, Washington, DC

ABC news reports that just after 4:00 p.m. on 1 October, an unknown man spray-painted, “No justice,” and a red line/circle drawn through the word “peace,” and “Black lives matter – Van,” on either side of the 12th Street entrance to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC. The term “Van” was written in red. It is not exactly clear what this term meant. It might have been the vandal’s graffiti signature. The Trump hotel, on 12th and Pennsylvania, is the Old Post Office Pavilion. Mr. Trump’s real-estate company signed a 60-year lease for the property for the express purpose of converting it into a hotel. The vandal was videoed in broad daylight, and his actions were posted by the twitter account, @AngryBlackManDC, and multiple news outlets. He was a male wearing a yellow shirt, dark pants, white sneakers, and a white hat, … Continue reading

15 August 2016, Lawsuit over sexual assault

The Insurance Journal reports that in August 2016, a female employee of the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and its Na Ho’ola Spa filed a lawsuit against the hotel and one Mr. Hassan Maan Melhem, who allegedly sexually groped and propositioned her in March. Melhem, who is an interpreter for a Saudi Arabian prince, pleaded no contest to the charges – fourth degree sexual assault, and “was given a deferred sentence and probation,” reports CourthouseNews.com. Melhem is also apparently responsible for administering the schedule of his benefactors, including booking entire floors of hotels such as the Hyatt, a major revenue-generating event for hotels the Saudi royals stay in, says CourthouseNews.com. The same source says Melhem is reported to have tried to make his masseuse – the victim in this case – touch his private area, and she is said to have refused and fled … Continue reading