Millionaire Couple Sue Hotel Over Stolen Luxury Watches
A British millionaire and his supermodel wife have discovered the hard way that money can’t always buy security. Now the couple is suing a Miami hotel over the theft of two luxury watches.
Oliver Ripley and Jeisa Chiminazzo had carefully researched a number of fancy hotels and decided that the Marriot in South Beach would be the ideal place to celebrate the Brazilian model’s 30th birthday. 75 friends flew in from all over the world for a lavish party that lasted more than three hours.
Unfortunately, the pair returned to their room following the festivities to find that a thief had absconded with two expensive timepieces worth about $28,000 each. Missing were an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Limited Edition watch for women and a Jacob & Co. Brilliant Half Pave. The wealthy couple was especially upset because the luxury watches were anniversary and wedding gifts.
Now the Ripleys are suing the Marriot for $880,000 for “gross negligence” because the door to their room failed to lock after they shut it, allowing the crook easy entry. The couple is suing for the cost of the luxury watches as well as emotional distress.
According to Ripley lawyer Lauren Rudick: “This is more than a dispute about a couple of watches. This is a lawsuit about a hotel that markets itself as a modern and sophisticated facility where its guests can feel safe and secure. There are no security cameras in the guest hallways.
“Outsiders can roam the halls of the hotel without the need for a passkey. And the doors to the guest rooms close, but do not lock. We’re lucky we’re talking about a theft case and not a breach of security that resulted in some sort of bodily harm.”
The Marriot chain will probably offer the disgruntled former guests some sort of settlement to avoid going to court but those two rare watches may not be so easy to replace.