Lawsuits allege hotel chains ignored human trafficking

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In this Monday, Dec. 16, 2019 photo, Traffic passes the federal courthouse in Columbus, Ohio. Lawyers representing human trafficking victims want a series of lawsuits alleging hotels across the country ignored signs of trafficking on their premises consolidated into a single federal case in the Columbus courthouse. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Lawyers representing human trafficking victims say several major hotel chains have ignored human trafficking taking place in their businesses, from multiple men visiting a single room to cash-only payments.

They’re suing to force the chains to take action.

The lawyers say the hotels have failed to identify, investigate and report suspected human trafficking and have thereby profited from the crime.

Attorneys have asked a federal panel to consolidate at least 21 such lawsuits pending in 11 states into a single case in federal court in Columbus, arguing that the lawsuits contain the same basic allegations.

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