Suit: Hotel wanted to hike rates after Sandy

Oct 16 2013

As it appeared the Connecticut Post

BRIDGEPORT — The former manager of the Holiday Inn on Main Street claims he was fired for refusing to raise room rates for guests seeking shelter from the effects of Superstorm Sandy.

William McGarry, who led the downtown hotel for nearly 20 years, says in a lawsuit filed at state Superior Court in Bridgeport that after Superstorm Sandy struck on Oct. 28, 2012, the hotel’s owners ordered him to raise room rates well above normal and to institute minimum night stays.

“They instructed Mr. McGarry to be sure he was getting top dollar and let him know that he should make money when he can,” the lawsuit states.

When McGarry refused, arguing that the practice would amount to price gouging, he claims he was fired.

“He was fired because he was trying to protect the public already suffering from the effects of the hurricane,” said his lawyer, Joseph Garrison. “We are prepared to try this case if necessary.”

The hurricane left thousands in the area without power for a week, forcing many people to seek temporary shelter.

On Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Dale Radcliffe denied a request to throw out the case by the lawyers representing the Trefz Corp., owner of the hotel. The lawyers later declined comment.

According to the lawsuit, McGarry initially worked as a manager for the downtown hotel from 1991 to 2004, when he left for another job.

In 2008, Ernest and Christian Trefz convinced him to come back, telling him they were “all like family,” and he could stay as long as he wanted, the suit states.

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