A former manager at ALH’s Royal Hotel in Beenleigh is suing the group for around $750,000, claiming their failure to provide safe conditions resulted in her PTSD and ongoing disability.

In a statement of claim filed in Beenleigh District Court, Amanda Lena Kathleen Budd outlined her case against Australian Leisure & Hospitality (ALH) in regards to an armed robbery at the Hotel, where she was threatened with a sawn-off shotgun.

Budd, the assistant manager, was on duty after midnight on 28 May, 2018. There is said to have been only one other employee with her, Jodie Marks.

At approximately 2.18am Budd was closing registers, requiring her to walk cash to the hotel office to put in the safe. She reportedly heard a “commotion” from the public bar area, and leaving the office saw a man wearing a hoodie. He was holding a weapon, aimed at Jodie Marks, who was already on the floor.

The bandit shifted his focus to Budd and demanded she hand over money. Panicking, she ran out and to the Imperial Hotel, directly across the road and also owned by ALH, where she called the police.

At some point a male patron confronted the armed man, threatening him with a chair and prompting him to flee empty-handed.

Police released details, describing the offender as caucasian and aged in his 30s, but he has not been apprehended.

Budd has suffered severe symptoms since the incident and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder*, bringing flashbacks and panic attacks. Beyond the anguish and mental health concerns, it has meant ongoing loss of income and medical expenses and account of “permanent disabilities”.

She is now claiming $742,140 in damages against ALH, plus interests and costs, claiming they failed to take adequate safety precautions, or take any or adequate measures to ensure the hotel’s security. The claim also charges ALH did not implement a safe system in the hotel, requiring the transfer of cash within the premises unsecured.

ALH will be required to file a defence with Beenleigh District Court.

*PTSD: Post-traumatic stress disorder is a particular set of reactions that can develop in people who have been through a traumatic event which threatened their life or safety, or that of others around them. This could be a car or other serious accident, physical or sexual assault, war or torture, or disasters such as bushfires or floods.

As a result, the person experiences feelings of intense fear, helplessness or horror. (Source: Beyond Blue)

Royal Hotel Beenleigh. Image: Facebook
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