Can I sue a hotel that tried to debit my bank card for over $7000 with no explanation of charges?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I sue a hotel that tried to debit my bank card for over $7000 with no explanation of charges?

We booked 2 suites for our wedding weekend despite very poor customer service. When we arrived person that was with our group did something that caused the fire sprinkler to break on accident. There was water damage throughout the whole town but we were assured that we will have no

charges due to their insurance. The owner came in that night and said nothing to us and neither did the manager. Upon check out my husband noticed that his card was overdrafted by over $1000. We spoke with the manager but he was not able to give us a single exclamation of what the charges pending were for. The owner wants us to come up and speak to him today, even though the person at fault, myself and my husband already spoke to the general manager and the front of house manager and made a statement regarding the incident. Once my husband talk to his bank, he found out they had actually try to take $7450. Do we need attorney? Are we able to sue them for the unauthorized

charges? Should I speak to them knowing I have no legal representation? Our wedding weekend was a nightmare am I waiting down was completely ruined by a black substance that came out of the sprinkler. I just need to move us know what we should do?

Asked on October 24, 2017 under Business Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you booked the rooms and a member of your wedding party or a guest damaged the hotel, you are most likely responsible for the cost: while you need to check the room agreement or contract to be sure, generally, they require the person booking the rooms to pay for all damage. 
Since you can't recover compensation for what they tried to do but failed--e.g. if (for example) they actually took $1,000, that's all you could potentially sue for, not the $7,450 they "tr[ied] to take"--it may not be worth suing: yes, they should not have debited without permission, but 1) the contract/agreement may have given them authority to do this (again, you need to review the contract and see what you agreed to), and 2) even if they did not have authority, if you sue them the (for example) $1,000, they could likely countersue for the full amount of the damage, which may be higher.  You maybe best off getting the "person that was with our group" who damaged the sprinkler to pay some or all of the cost, since even if you are responsible to the hotel, if he caused you to lose money, he would likely be responsible in turn to you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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