Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in the Death of Jennifer Herring - KLFY News 10

February 23, 2006

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in the Death of Jennifer Herring

New developments are being released on the murder of a hotel worker.

Now, her family is suing the suspect's family and her former employer.

Police say 30-year-old Jennifer Herring was shot and killed by her boyfriend last March while she was working the front desk of the Microtel Inn and Suites on Ambassador Caffery.

Lafayette police say Francis Vallery, Jr. walked into the hotel lobby and shot Herring several times.

The family's attorney says Herring's murder could have been avoided by a number of people. Now, they are suing for wrongful death.

Jennifer Herring's family has hired an attorney out of Crowley, Kenneth Privat, to represent them in a lawsuit filed Tuesday against Francis Vallery, Jr.'s father, Francis Vallery, Sr., his mother, Meridian Vallery and Microtel.

Privat says she did everything possible, followed all the rules and yet this happened and it was something that could have been avoided if the company tried to protect her.

Privat says Vallery is not the only person responsible for Herring's death, his parents are as well.

The lawsuit claims the suspect told his parents on the day of Herring's murder that he planned to kill her and that they did nothing to prevent it.

Privat says there were three calls that came in that day. He says he can show that Mr. Vallery was contemplating to tell Jennifer. He says they made no arrangements to find a suitable way to avoid the situation.

Privat says likewise, Microtel is at fault because its staff didn't secure the doors of the hotel and provide a safe haven for Herring until Vallery could be arrested. Herring had a restraining order against Vallery and had called police a number of times the day she was murdered.

Privat says he thinks he can show that the cause that resulted in Jennifer's death was her employer, Microtel's, failure to protect her.

The attorney says because Herring is no longer here to nurture and support her now four orphan children, he's suing for wrongful death.

Vallery has been charged with first-degree murder, which carries a possible death sentence.

His parents did not return our phone calls.

Microtel representatives say they did not receive a copy of the lawsuit.

However, they did make this statement:

"Jennifer Herring was a valued employee, and everyone at Microtel did what they could in order to support her on the day she was shot."

-Microtel

On the day of the incident, hotel management told Eyewitness News Herring called for a replacement after receiving a couple of threatening phone calls.

Hotel management says her replacement, who was living at the hotel, came down to relieve her and was on site when the shooting took place.

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