‘Kari’s Law’ back in court as family seeks damages against hotel chain, murderer

Kari Hunt (Source: Hunt family)
Kari Hunt (Source: Hunt family)
Updated: Jun. 19, 2018 at 5:28 PM CDT
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MARSHALL, TX (KLTV) - A wrongful death lawsuit filed by the father of an East Texas woman who was murdered in a Marshall motel room is being heard in Harrison County this week.

Kari Hunt's father filed the suit against her convicted killer, Brad Dunn, as well as OM Lodging, Wyndham Hotel Systems, and the Baymont Franchises.

Kari Hunt was murdered by Dunn, her estranged husband, at a Marshall motel in 2013. Kari's young daughter tried to call 9-1-1 from the room but was unable to get through because she did not know she had to dial "9" for an outside line. That incident inspired "Kari's Law," signed into law by President Donald Trump earlier this year.

MORE: It's official: President signs Kari's Law

Today, on what would have been Kari Hunt and Dunn's wedding anniversary, the jury heard from Dunn in a recorded interview. He is serving a 99-year sentence for Kari Hunt's murder in the Tennessee Colony Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Dunn is named in the suit on behalf of the loss experienced by Kari Hunt's three surviving children, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit alleges that OM Lodging failed to provide instructions on the need to dial "9" prior to dialing 9-1-1, and did not provide warning stickers or signage in its guest rooms. It goes on to say that the business was, "well aware of these dangerous conditions" and "failed to exercise reasonable care to reduce or eliminate the risks."

Wyndham Worldwide Operations, Inc. and Wyndham Hotel Management, Inc are named as defendants in the suit for, "failure to enact and enforce brand standards requiring franchisees to either provide direct dial 9-1-1 or warn and instruct customers about the lack of direct dial ..."

MORE: Kari's Law: Father of victim discusses long journey to see bill become law

Hank Hunt declined an interview, but when asked about his reasons for filing the lawsuit in 2016, he said it was,"To seek justice for Kari and her children."

The lawsuit is seeking "monetary relief" in excess of $1,000,000.

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"The family will accept the level of compensation determined by the jury to be fair and appropriate in this case," the lawsuit states.

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