LIHUE — Former female employees of the Kauai Marriott Resort &Beach Club in Lihue have filed a lawsuit in Fifth Circuit Court against the hotel conglomerate, alleging a fellow employee recorded them using the bathroom and changing clothes in the female locker room.
The civil suit alleges that, between May 2017 and September 2018, female employees who used the women’s locker room were filmed by a fellow employee, and that the matter was known to management.
Alan Gallardo Ganir is named as the employee who allegedly committed the offenses, and will be facing a jury trial in January on the charge of violation of privacy in the first degree, a Class C felony.
Bail was set at $1,000.
In an email to The Garden Island newspaper, Paul Toner, general manager of the Kauai Marriott Resort &Beach Club, declined to comment on this story as there is pending litigation.
Attorney for the complainants, Daniel Hempey, also declined further comment on the matter because there is currently a criminal case pending.
“I don’t want to impair anybody’s right to a fair trial,” he said.
In May 2017, numerous female employees of the hotel voiced concern about the conditions of the employee locker room and bathroom, stating that four of the five toilet stalls were often locked from the inside at the time of their shift change.
This forced them to use the one remaining stall that had a direct view into the women’s locker room.
On May 28, 2017, an employee posted a photograph of the stalls in the locker room on Facebook. In the photo, a tissue box can be seen behind the women’s toilet with a small hole for a camera lens.
On Oct. 30, an employee sent an email to the hotel’s management stating the condition of the toilets and the locked stalls.
The suit alleges management’s response to the complaint was negligent, that they would instruct housekeeping, the department in which Ganir worked, to unlock the stall doors.
On Sept. 1, one of the victims took a photo of the bathroom after her shift ended and walked the photo to the hotel’s security office. As she examined the photo, she noticed paper behind the toilet. She returned to the bathroom, removed the paper and found Ganir’s phone actively recording the stall and the locker room. She also discovered that he had filmed her, according to court documents.
The victim remembered the prior Facebook photo and realized Ganir had been filming her and her co-workers for at least two years. She called police and Ganir was arrested.
The suit alleges over 50 employees, including front desk agents, service agents, servers, bartenders and cashiers of the hotel have used the women’s locker room while being surreptitiously filmed.
The defendants, the Marriott and Ganir, face six counts due to the incidents including invasion of privacy, intrusion upon seclusion, negligence against the hotel, gross negligence/negligence per say against the hotel, vicarious or agency liability respondeat superior against the hotel, intentional infliction of emotional distress against Ganir, negligent, and reckless and or wanton infliction of emotional distress against all defendants.
Bethany Freudenthal, crime, courts and county reporter, can be reached at 652-7891 or email@example.com.