Joshua M. Bowman quoted in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly on Connor, et al. v. Marriott International, Inc., et al.

April 1, 2024

Joshua M. Bowman, partner in the firm’s Real Estate and Business Law Departments and chair of the firm’s Hospitality Practice Group, was quoted in the April 1st issue of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. The article, “Ejected guests can bring 93A claim against hotel chain,” discusses an Appeals Court decision ruling that a Chapter 93A suit can proceed against Marriott International, Inc. and one of its franchisees that owned the Dedham Fairfield Inn by Marriot hotel, as a result of the franchisee refusing, at the time of check-in, to honor the reservations of a high-end children’s clothing and merchandise retailer that had booked suites in the hotel for the purpose of meeting with clients and displaying sample merchandise, even though the franchisee knew well in advance the purpose of the reservations and had accepted large boxes of samples that had been shipped to the hotel prior to check-in.

Read a PDF of the full article from Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

From the article:

But Boston attorney Joshua M. Bowman, who represents hotel operators, called Connor a case of “bad facts make bad law.”

According to Bowman, it is common for operators of limited-service business hotels like Fairfield Inn — which are designed for business travelers to arrive, sleep in their room, have breakfast, and leave to conduct business elsewhere — to have an interest in restricting what guests can do on the premises.

The problem here, Bowman said, was that the employee apparently took the reservation, allowed the group to ship their goods to the hotel, and actually received and stored the goods before allegedly telling the plaintiffs on arrival that they could not do business at the hotel, and that if they did not leave, they would be arrested.

“In my opinion, this wasn’t good business practice and that’s when you have litigation,” Bowman said. “This whole thing could have been avoided if they had just realized they needed to post their policy, and that if this group was coming and wasn’t in compliance, they should just let them conduct their business one last time and, going forward, not take reservations from anyone who was going to be doing business out of their rooms.”

Still, Bowman was skeptical that the case rose to the level of a Chapter 93A violation.