Unwelcome Guest

Published July 29, 2013

Another disappointed awards program member is David M. Schlessinger of Chicago, who is representing himself in a suit he filed against Marriott International Inc. in Chicago.

According to Schlessinger’s complaint, he “owns and/or operates three companies and frequently flies around the world,” choosing to stay primarily or exclusively at Marriott hotels worldwide since he was first “induced” in June 1990 to join Marriott’s “Honored Guest Awards” program, later renamed “Marriott Rewards.” Despite Marriott’s “far more expensive” pricing relative to its competitors, his complaint says, Schlessinger quickly attained “gold”  status and by January 1, 2013, became a “Lifetime Platinum Elite” member with all the appurtenant “membership obligations, requirements, rewards, benefits, and more” – until, that is, he tried to check into the J.W. Marriott Chicago on June 27, 2013. Then he was turned away with little explanation and found all his future confirmed Marriott reservations cancelled.

The following day, Schlessinger says, he received a letter from Marriott informing him that his Lifetime Platinum Membership was being terminated “‘based on [his] conduct’ ‘involving [his] highly inappropriate behavior.'” The complaint itself refers to three incidents Marriott allegedly cited, including “one at the New York Marriott Marquis on New Years Eve, January 1, 2004, and one at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile on January 20, 2006.”

Nonetheless, Schlessinger’s complaint “humbly requests” an award of damages to compensate him for his “huge monetary losses” plus a declaratory judgment that Marriott has breached its contract with him and reinstatement of his Lifetime Platinum Elite membership.

Perhaps it’s just coincidence, but a registered sex offender with the same name and the same address listed in paragraph 3 of Schlessinger’s complaint against Marriott reportedly pleaded guilty in September 1998 to charges related to alleged assaults of three underage boys between June 1995 and January 1997, and in 1996 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, based in Chicago, threw out as “goofy” an appeal by a plaintiff of the same name who had brought an “absurd and likely malicious” lawsuit against Anthony’s Steakhouse in Geneva, Wisconsin and others for allegedly overcooking his steak and then asking him to leave when he created a disturbance and refused to pay for his dinner on January 8, 1994.

The case is David Schlessinger v. Marriott International Inc., A Delaware Corporation, No. 2013 CH 15968, in the Circuit Court of Cook County, County Department, Chancery Division.

Additional sources: Crime Watch; Joseph Erbentraut, “‘Boystown’ Show Backer Has Criminal Past,” Windy City Times, May 4, 2011; David M. Schlessinger, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. George Salimes, et al., Defendants-Appellees, 100 F.3d 519 (7th Cir. 1996); “Chicagoan With A Beef Denied By Top Court,” Chicago Tribune, June 24, 1997

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