Case against Le Grand Bellevue dismissed

Wed, 24. Feb. 2021

The case of the German businesswoman Adriana von Baillou, who was robbed during her hotel stay at Le Grand Bellevue, went to court in mid-January. The accusations against the hotel proved to be groundless and her case against Le Grand Bellevue Gstaad was dismissed.

The case of the German businesswoman Adriana von Baillou, who was robbed during her hotel stay at Le Grand Bellevue, went to court in mid-January. The accusations against the hotel proved to be groundless and her case against Le Grand Bellevue Gstaad was dismissed.

The plaintiff Adriana von Baillou from Cologne stayed at Le Grand Bellevue Gstaad from 19 to 21 August 2016. During a stay on 20 August in the spa of the defendant hotel – she had left her room key at the spa’s reception – fashion jewellery worth an assumed CHF 6200 was stolen from a cupboard in her room, not from the safe. The perpetrator, Mohamed E H, a Frenchman of Tunisian origin living in Marseille, had apparently already been in action several times in recent years as a sneak thief in various hotels in Gstaad.

Door was not locked
As a result, the German businesswoman demanded the sum of CHF 19,800 from Le Grand Bellevue SA by legal means. The hotel in Gstaad defended itself against this suddenly much higher claim and offered the plaintiff a settlement of CHF 2,000. This was rejected by the plaintiff.

The main point at the hearing in January was to decide who could be proven to have been negligent in allowing the thief to gain access to room 106, where von Baillou was staying. The presiding judge ultimately considered it proven that the plaintiff had failed to lock her hotel room during her visit to the spa.

No accomplice in the hotel
Consequently, there was no accomplice in the hotel, as the plaintiff’s lawyer claimed. This accomplice would have worked at the reception of the spa, taken the plaintiff’s key during her visit to the spa and made it available to the perpetrator. The evidence in this case was complicated by the defective display of the access control device.

However, the hotel was able to present its version credibly. Last but not least, the perpetrator’s meanwhile well-known procedure also spoke against such complicity. Thanks to camera evidence from other cases, the court considered it proven that the perpetrator worked alone and earned part of his income as a classic sneak thief.

A drop of bitterness
For Daniel Koetser, president of the board of directors of the Le Grand Bellevue Gstaad SA, a drop of bitterness remains despite everything, because for him von Baillou is a valued hotel guest, just like everyone else.

He deeply regrets what happened and said after the trial: “If a guest is unhappy, we are unhappy.” Nevertheless, he may take some satisfaction from the fact that the security measures of his hotel have proven to be beyond question.

BASED ON AVS/KEREM S MAURER

 

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