New reports citing court documents have revealed how much the family of Kenneka Jenkins will receive in a lawsuit regarding her death. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, three of Jenkins’s family members will split a little over $6 million.
The outlet reports the total settlement amount as $10 million. This is $40 million less than the teen’s mother, Teresa Martin, sought when she sued the Crowne Plaza O’Hare, a security company and a restaurant inside the hotel in 2018. The lawsuit accused the hotel and additional parties of negligence.
For context, Kenneka Jenkins was 17 when she passed away in 2017. The teenager had attended a party on the ninth floor of Crowne Plaza on Sept. 8 but had ultimately entered an “abandoned” kitchen in the hotel. Surveillance footage clocked Jenkins walking toward a walk-in freezer at about 3:32 a.m. on the night of the incident. However, no footage has ever shown the teen walking into the freezer.
Her body was found in said freezer on Sept. 10 at about 12:25 a.m. — over 24 hours after family and friends had reported her missing. The following month, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled her death accidental by way of hypothermia.
Her death inspired a host of conspiracy theories, especially driven by the state her body was found in. As previously reported, photos from the investigation showed portions of Kenneka Jenkins’s body were “inexplicably exposed,” such as her breasts.
Who Will Receive Funds From The $10 Million Payout To Kenneka Jenkins’s Family?
Chicago Sun-Times reports that Teresa Martin will receive more than $3.7 million of the settlement coins. Meanwhile, two unnamed relatives will get about $1.2 million and $1.5 million each.
As for the remainder of the $10 million, Martin’s lawyers will cash in on about $3.5 million. A $6,000 payment for Kenneka Jenkins’s funeral in 2017 is also reportedly included.
It’s unclear how the family feels about the settlement total being public. This week’s update comes after reports of a settlement in October.
At the time, AP revealed court records saying the hotel and others agreed to the settlement in August. However, Teresa Martin’s lawyers had reportedly requested not to enter the settlement into the court docket. The family allegedly wanted to seal the terms from the public due to safety concerns involving Kenneka Jenkins’s mother, witnesses, and defendants in the case.
Her lawyer said: “The widespread publicity of this case, including uncontrolled speculation and social media commentary, has resulted in various threats made against various individuals in the case,” in a related motion filing, per AP.
A judge denied that request in October and scheduled a status hearing that month.
NPR and the Sun-Times say these latest details only became public because August’s settlement had “broken down,” and the case was headed to trial instead.
Now, nearly six years after Kenneka Jenkins died, the family can begin to close the settlement chapter.
It’s unclear if the settlement terms require the sued parties to issue public statements or apologies. The Crowne Plaza O’Hare has previously denied culpability in the teen’s death.
There are no additional details to report at this time.