Arizona AG Mark Brnovich asks judge to reject $7.6M Motel 6 settlement

May 30, 2019, 7:30 PM
(Twitter Photo/@Motel6)...
(Twitter Photo/@Motel6)
(Twitter Photo/@Motel6)

PHOENIX – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich last week asked a judge to deny approval of a proposed $7.6 million class-action settlement with Motel 6 over the sharing of customer information with U.S. immigration officials.

Brnovich filed a brief Friday in U.S. District Court of the District of Arizona arguing that “the majority, if not all, of the consumer portion” of the settlement money would go to parties not connected to the class.

“The current proposed settlement is structured in a way that diverts the vast majority of the $7.6 million in settlement cash to four different charities that deal with border and immigration issues generally and will be unlikely to directly benefit the class members affected in this case,” Brnovich’s office said Wednesday in a press release.

Brnovich wants Judge David Campbell to order the parties involved to negotiate a new settlement “that properly directs the eventual settlement proceeds into the hands of the class members,” the release said.

A Latino rights group countered Brnovich’s contention, saying it was pointless because the agreement already has been renegotiated.

“There was no renegotiation because of what the Arizona attorney general said or filed,” Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said Thursday. “The specific aspect he objects to will not change.”

The organization is representing eight unnamed people who stayed at two Motel 6 locations in Phoenix in June and July 2017. All but one were arrested as a result of Motel 6 employees voluntarily giving their personal information and whereabouts to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

Saenz called Brnovich’s claims a mischaracterization. The charities will only get a payout if there are an insufficient number of claims with merit, he said. Otherwise, they will receive nothing.

“If, on the other hand, a small number of class members file claims, Motel 6 should not benefit from that circumstance by receiving all of its money back,” Saenz said. “The idea is there should be a minimum payout to incentivize better conduct in the future.”

Attorneys are finalizing the new proposal for a sum that is not yet public, Saenz said, and it will be filed in court by the end of June.

Campbell told attorneys for the organization and Motel 6 in January that he needed more information before he could approve the settlement. Among his questions were how many people were affected. Both sides have said as many as tens of thousands of guests had their personal information shared.

Besides compensating targeted guests, the agreement would order the budget motel chain to prevent the practice of sharing private information.

Motel 6 settled a similar lawsuit last month in Washington state for $12 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., speaks during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs com...
Associated Press

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema defends bipartisanship at McConnell Center

Members of Congress face "intense pressure" to play to the extreme elements of their own party, Kyrsten Sinema argued in a speech.
17 hours ago
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...

Ron Wolfley breaks down Cardinals’ perplexing offensive performance in loss to Rams

Radio analyst and host Ron Wolfley joined KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Monday to break down the Cardinals' loss to the Rams.
17 hours ago
Thousands of protesters march around the Arizona Capitol after the Supreme Court decision to overtu...
Associated Press

Planned Parenthood seeks stay of ruling that bans most abortions in Arizona

Planned Parenthood asked an Arizona judge Monday to put on hold a ruling that allowed prosecutors to enforce a law banning abortion in nearly all cases.
17 hours ago
(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Pedestrian asking for help in Phoenix killed when car gets knocked into her

A pedestrian was killed in Phoenix early Monday when a vehicle hit the car she’d flagged down to ask for help, authorities said.
17 hours ago
(Flickr Photo/ADOT)...

Work to begin Monday night on I-17 improvement project north of Phoenix

Work is scheduled to begin Monday night on a long-planned freeway improvement project north of Phoenix, transportation officials said.
17 hours ago
(Public Domain Image)...

2 people in helicopter survive ‘hard landing’ in desert north of Mesa

Two people aboard a small helicopter survived a "hard landing" Monday morning in a desert area of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Arizona AG Mark Brnovich asks judge to reject $7.6M Motel 6 settlement