Woman Files Lawsuit in 2014 Miami Hotel Carjacking

A woman is speaking out after filing a lawsuit related to a 2014 carjacking outside a posh Miami hotel.

Shaun Sinclair-Stept claims the JW Marriott Marquis Miami and the Park One of Florida valet company are liable for gross negligence in the September 2014 incident.

"You never expect something like this to happen. You expect to be safe," Sinclair-Stept said.

Surveillance video from the incident shows Sinclair-Stept pulling into the JW Marriott, then moments later valet attendants unload items from her SUV's trunk. Suddenly a man jumps in the front seat, puts the car in reverse, and slams into the two valet attendants.

The carjacker, later identified as Alberto Ruiz, continued to move back and forth hitting several cars until he made his way out. Ruiz was arrested and plead guilty to several felonies. He was later sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Sinclair-Stept said she's relieved Ruiz is behind bars, but upset the hotel and valet company are challenging her account of the events. She also says the hotel failed to change its procedure after at least one other alleged car theft on their property by the same man.

"When clients or customers come to their hotel there is an expectation and they should keep them safe. They should know that as soon as they set foot on the brick of their valet ramp, as soon as they are greeted by valet or parking attendants that they are safe," she said.

"They knew he was out there. As a matter of fact, Mr. Ruiz stole a car from the very same Marquis in April 2014," attorney Mitchel Chusid said. "He waited just like he did in this case for the right opportunity to strike."

The attorneys for Marriott filed a motion challenging the woman's injury claim, arguing she was holding balloons on the arm she says was injured. The valet company also filed a motion saying she had not yet received a valet ticket at the time of theft.

Chusid plans to file another motion in June.

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