Jury awards $41M to family of East Texas woman whose murder led to ‘Kari’s Law’
MARSHALL, TX (KLTV) - A jury deliberating the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of an East Texas woman who was murdered in a Marshall motel room has ruled in favor of her family.
Hank Hunt, Kari's father, filed the suit on behalf of Kari's children against her convicted killer, Brad Dunn, as well as OM Lodging, Wyndham Hotel Systems, and the Baymont Franchises. Hank Hunt has previously given his reason for filing the lawsuit in 2016 as a way to "seek justice for Kari and her children."
"It's a victory that we'll take. All I wanted was the hotel to be held responsible for their inaction that day. And the fact that my grandkids could not get help in any way shape or form," Hunt said.
Kari Hunt was murdered by Dunn, her estranged husband, at a Marshall motel in 2013. Kari's young daughter tried to call 9-1-1 from the room but was unable to get through because she did not know she had to dial "9" for an outside line.
Hunt says the testimony revealed right after the crime his 9-year-old granddaughter, ""Was pleading with them to get her a phone or to call someone for help or find somebody for help and they couldn't speak English. But even at that point looking at the videos and the pictures of those children it was very obviously a situation where they were in distress," Hunt stated.
Hunt said the worker at the front desk spoke English but, "there was not an attempt made to get him or find anyone else. Eventually another guest heard commotion and came out. She took matters into her own hands."
That incident prompted "Kari's Law," signed into law by President Donald Trump earlier this year.
According to Hank Hunt's attorney, D. Scott Carlile, the jury awarded Kari's family $41,550,000 on Friday. Carlile said the jury assessed 80 percent fault on Brad Dunn, and 20 percent on OM Lodging. However, the ruling will likely be appealed.
"Whatever's ahead we'll face it, but at this point right now I think the kids will be okay," Hunt added.
Dunn is serving a 99-year prison sentence for Kari Hunt's murder. He is incarcerated in the Michael Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Copyright 2018 KLTV. All rights reserved.