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"Keep the Lights On" Slogan Plays a Role in 
Jury Verdict Against Motel 6
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif - Oct. 30, 1998--A Superior Court jury in Beverly Hills found Motel 6 negligent for failing to "keep the lights on," which caused a patron to trip and fall on a deceptive curb. 

Pamela Encell, age 51, was walking out of the Motel 6 located on Century Boulevard near Los Angeles International Airport when she sidestepped a curb that was only 2" high and that was obscured by dark shadows created by a large overhang. The sidewalk and driveway surfaces blended together and looked the same. 

The accident occurred at 7:15 p.m. on July 21, 1996. Although the entrance is located on the east side of the building, causing deep, dark shadows to occur daily, Motel 6 failed to "keep the lights on" as it promises to do in its national advertising campaign. Motel 6 has a safety manual that discusses all of the hazards that were present when the accident occurred, but the safety manual sat on a shelf. Motel 6 failed to practice accident prevention. The deceptive curb failed to have a painted stripe as a warning until after this tragedy occurred. 

Attorney Edward Steinbrecher, who represented Encell, stated that the jury's verdict will send a wake-up call to Motel 6 to keep its pledge to the public to "keep the lights on" and practice accident prevention. Encell's serious ankle injury could have been avoided by simply "keep(ing) the lights on" and painting a warning stripe on the deceptive curb. 

The jury returned a verdict of $300,000, far in excess of the paltry $40,000 offered by Motel 6 to settle this case.

Edward Lozzi
Edward Lozzi & Associates