QUEENS (CN) – A family that responded to an American Express promotion ended up being help hostage for two weeks at a Starwood hotel in Sardinia, the father and son claim in Queens Supreme Court. The dad says hotel employees changed the family’s departure dates without permission, threatened them at gunpoint, pushed the father into a hotel pool, broke into his room and stole his money.
Alexander Maryasin claims that being a “black card” holder entitled him to special services from American Express travel agents, who steered him toward a vacation that was inappropriate for his 11-year-old son. He says it was part of a cross-marketing program with a Starwood-owned Sardinian resort, the Hotel Cala di Volpe.
Maryasin claims that the hotel confiscated their passports upon arrival and held them “hostage” from Aug. 16 to Aug. 31, 2007. He says hotel employees changed the family’s departure dates without permission, threatened them at gunpoint, pushed the father into a hotel pool, broke into his room and stole his money and belongings.
Then, he says, they forced him under threat of violence to rack up expensive charges on his credit card, including $60,000 in jewelry store purchases, $100,000 in hotel charges and $5,000 in personal cash advances.
Maryasin claims they forced him to go – in a hotel car billed to him – with his young child to nightclubs until after closing.
He claims that his 21-year-old son David was so distraught that he needed surgery to alleviate physical symptoms of his psychological injuries. The plaintiffs want damages from the credit card company and the resort for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. They are represented by Dominic Rizzo.