It’s been just over six years since 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins died under shady circumstances of hypothermia inside a hotel walk-in freezer in Chicago. It’s also been nearly five years since Jenkins’ mother, Tereasa Martin, filed a $50 million lawsuit against Chicago’s Rosemont Hotel, its security company, and the hotel’s restaurant. Now, the lawsuit has finally been settled, but there’s no way of knowing whether or not it was anywhere near the amount Martin asked for.
While $50 million could never be enough to compensate a mother who has lost her child under tragic and probably avoidable circumstances, terms of the agreement have not been made public for the sake of Kenneka Jenkins’ family.
CBS News reports that the two sides agreed to settle the lawsuit in August but Jenkins’ family is seeking to keep the deal under seal, citing safety and privacy concerns.
According to the filing, the defendants also have agreed the settlement agreement should remain sealed.
“The widespread publicity of this case, including uncontrolled speculation and social media commentary, has resulted in various threats made against various individuals in the case,” Martin’s attorneys wrote.
“One of the main terms of the settlement for all parties was maintaining the confidentiality of the settlement.”
A status hearing is scheduled for the case which had been set for a trial starting Oct. 16.
Jenkins’ case and the subsequent lawsuit which alleged that hotel staff failed to monitor security cameras, and if they had, Jenkins wouldn’t have been left in a freezer for days prompted plenty of reckless speculation and conspiracy theorizing on social media.
And since there are so many people on these platforms who revel in their complete lack of compassion and empathy, especially toward Black women, it’s no surprise that Jenkins’ family would want to keep their affairs as far away from the public eye as possible.
People are terrible and Kenneka Jenkins deserves better.
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