Former CNN anchor Lynne Russell sues Motel 6 over shooting

Lynne Russell

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Friday, October 16, 2015

Lynne Russell, a long-time former CNN Headline News anchor, is suing Motel 6 over a shooting earlier this year that left the attacker dead and her husband Chuck de Caro seriously injured.

Details of the attack from my initial story here.

According to the Courthouse News, they sued Motel 6, the motel manager, a security company and one of its employees, earlier this week in Bernalillo County Court in New Mexico.

The couple had been staying at the Motel 6 when Russell was kidnapped in the parking lot and brought into their room at gunpoint by the robber. A gunfight ensued after she surreptitiously passed her husband a handgun. de Caro was shot twice in the stomach and once in the leg while he fatally killed the aggressor.

de Caro, a former member of the 20th Special Forces Group Airborne division of the U.S. Army and CNN correspondent, had to have a second emergency surgery a few weeks ago because the bullet left in his body nearly blew out his femoral artery, Russell texted me today.

In the filing, they noted that this particular Motel 6 has had at least 166 police calls this year alone and 821 over the past six years to investigate  “burglaries, auto-thefts, rapes, prostitution, petty theft, drugs, and other types of criminal and suspicious activity.” The lawsuit accuses the hotel of using unmonitored security cameras and an insufficient security staff.

The lawsuit said cameras captured the assailant but nobody was watching.

The Courthouse News story noted that de Caro underwent emergency surgery, and follow-up surgeries to deal with organ damage, blood clots and other complications. Both continue to suffer post-traumatic stress.

They are seeking lost income, and punitive damages for negligence, unfair trade, emotional distress and loss of consortium.

In a text today, Russell said they only stopped in the motel because they had their Weimaraner named Oliver with them and needed a dog-friendly place to stay on their way to California June 30. But Oliver had to be put down two days ago. The aging dog was never quite the same after the robbery. “The gun fight was just too much for him,” she texted. “So much for pet-friendly Motel 6.”

 

 

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