The mother of Kenneka Jenkins -- who was found dead in a hotel freezer -- says the establishment is to blame for her daughter's 2017 death ... and now wants $50 million.
Teresa Martin has filed suit on behalf of her late daughter's estate against the Crowne Plaza Chicago-O'Hare Hotel for negligence, claiming there were several opportunities for the company and its staff to step in and help prevent Kenneka's death last September ... but failed to do so.
In the docs, obtained by TMZ, Teresa alleges that the hotel was made aware of Kenneka's disappearance from a room where a party was being thrown shortly after she wandered off, and says she was assured by Crowne Plaza personnel that they'd check surveillance footage in an attempt to locate her right away. She says they completely screwed that up.
Teresa says the hotel staff either didn't check the footage soon enough, or didn't properly review it ... because the 19-year-old could be seen clear as day stumbling into the kitchen in video later obtained and released by police who investigated her death.
She goes on to allege that Kenneka walked by several hotel staffers who didn't help her, and that the freezer Kenneka walked into was easily accessible to the public. She also claims the freezer had a faded sticker on it that failed to instruct people on how to unlock the door.
Kenneka's body was found in the freezer nearly 24 hours after she was reported missing. Her cause of death was hypothermia and it was ruled accidental. Tons of rumors swirled around the circumstances of her death, with some suspecting foul play.
Despite the police closing out their investigation without any arrests or charges, Kenneka's mother says the blame still lies with the hotel. She's asking for more than $50 mil in damages.
The Crowne Plaza released a statement to the Chicago Tribune: "The death of Kenneka Jenkins was a tragedy, but the proximate cause of her death were the unsavory individuals who used a stolen credit card to book a room and host an illegal party which Ms. Jenkins attended. Those criminals escaped the hotel before police arrived and have never truly been held accountable. This lawsuit has no merit and we will vigorously contest it."