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D.C. Hotel Sues Florida School For $135K After A Student Broke A Sprinkler

The Residence Inn Dupont at 2120 P St. NW.
The Residence Inn Dupont at 2120 P St. NW

The owner of a Dupont Circle hotel is bringing a lawsuit against a Florida private school whose student stayed at the property last year.

An affiliate of Donohoe Cos. that owns the Residence Inn Dupont, 2120 P Street Associates LLC, filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for D.C. Monday against the Robert F. Munroe Day School, seeking $135K in damages. 

The lawsuit claims a student of the Quincy, Florida, school hung a clothes hanger on a sprinkler in the hotel, breaking the sprinkler head and causing over $100K in water damage. It says the incident occurred around March 12, 2019, when the school reserved a block of rooms at the hotel. 

The suit rests on two counts: negligence and breach of contract. It claims the school failed to supervise its students to prevent them from damaging the property and broke its contract by refusing to pay for the damages. The hotel owner says it sought reimbursement under the contract, but the school denied its request. 

The private school has 316 students from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, and its tuition costs an average of $7,600/year, less than the national average of $11K/year, according to Private School Review

The 107-room hotel sits about three blocks west of the Dupont Circle Metro station. It is one of more than a dozen hotels Donohoe owns in the D.C. area. Donohoe declined to comment on the lawsuit, and the school didn't respond to requests for comment. 

The lawsuit comes as the hospitality industry is reeling from the coronavirus and its effects on the travel industry. Donohoe Hospitality President Thomas Penny told Bisnow in March the company's hotels had experienced revenue drops of 75% to 90%.

CORRECTION, JUNE 3, 9:55 A.M. ET: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the date of the alleged incident. The lawsuit says it occurred March 12, 2019. This story has been updated.