Los Angeles’ Cecil Hotel Sued Over Corpse Found In Water Tank

Melissa John, Staff Writer

A lawsuit was filed last Tuesday against the administrators of Los Angeles’ Cecil Hotel after a 21-year-old woman’s corpse was discovered inside a rooftop water tank.

Steven and Gloria Cott, former guests at the LA hotel, deemed their complaint a “class action” by stating that the lawsuit could apply to “all persons similarly situated” or any visitor of the hotel between February 1 and 19 this year.

Sgt. Rudy Lopez stated that the body of Elisa Lam, a Canadian tourist from Vancouver, British Columbia, was found in the Cecil Hotel’s water tank by a maintenance worker on February 19 in response to guest complaints about low water pressure.

Elisa Lam checked into the hotel on January 26 and was last seen by hotel workers on January 31, 2013. This piece of information leads police and investigators to believe that Lam’s decomposing body was in one of the hotel’s four cisterns for roughly 19 days before being discovered.

The last known location of Lam was what a security camera caught on January 31. The video saw Lam walking into an elevator and then her head peering out of the opened elevator almost as if “she was hiding or looking for someone,” according to CNN.

After the incident, the Los Angeles Public Health Department immediately performed tests on the hotel’s water supply, but allowed the manager to remain opened to the public as long as they “provided water bottles and warned guests not to drink the tap water.”

The test results came back earlier this week that showed “no harmful bacteria in the tank or the pipes” according to the director of environmental health, Angelo Bellomo.

Even after Lam’s body was found and removed, guests continued to check into the Cecil. The only catch:  all entering the hotel were required to sign a waiver upon arrival stating that the hotel would not be at fault if their guests became ill.

The hotel’s release clearly stated, “You do so at your own risk and peril.”

The Cotts are asking for a refund of the money spent on the two nights which they stayed in the hotel totaling $150 and also medical costs which totaled approximately $100.

The cause of death has yet to be determined for Elisa Lam, however, the Los Angeles robbery-homicide detectives are searching in depth on the case, for obvious reasons of the suspicion behind the findings.