CHARLESTON - A South Charleston couple has filed a suit against a national hotel chain, claiming an employee of the company went into their room during a stay in Morgantown and stole their checkbook.

Stacy White-Slaughter and Jeremy Slaughter filed a suit Oct. 17 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Ramada Worldwide, doing business as Ramada Inn.

The Slaughters stayed in a Ramada Inn in Morgantown the night of April 11, 2007. According to the suit, White-Slaughter had stayed in the Ramada Inn previously and returned, based partially on advertisements and marketing she had seen.

The ads stated that Ramada Inn provided pleasant and safe accommodations, including, but not limited to the slogan, "Best Stay Every Time," the suit says.

During the Slaughters stay, employees, specifically Mitchell Kerns, allegedly went into their room, searched their belongings and stole their checkbooks.

The Slaughters claim they had several forged checks cashed by Kerns, including one each for $400, $300, $200 and $60. According to the suit, Kerns went to BB&T in Morgantown to open an account with the forged checks.

The suit says Kerns has been convicted of past crimes when he was hired by Ramada.

"The defendants knew or should have known of the past criminal background of Mitchell Kerns and the other employee and of the risk of hiring dishonest employees who would put hotel guests and their possessions at risk," the suit says.

White-Slaughter claims she contacted the Ramada Inn in Morgantown directly April 25, 2007, to discuss the matter with a manager. She claims she spoke with "Pete," who "showed no concern for what had happened," the suit says.

The Slaughters seek compensatory and punitive damages from Ramada Inn Worldwide, Inc., for their mental and physical pain and suffering.

Attorney John Einreinhofer is representing the Slaughters. The case has been assigned to Judge Irene Berger.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 07-C-2235

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