Beating Goliath
Beating Goliath
Dec 1, 2022
Part 1: A Dream Job Too Good To Be True
Play • 26 min

In Episode One of this two-part series, you will meet Karla Gress, a businesswoman and mother of three from the Dallas, Texas area.


Karla traveled to the Chicago-area on business in October of 2013 and booked a room at the Holiday Inn Northshore in the suburb of Skokie, Illinois. One evening after a typical day at work, Karla returned to her hotel and stopped at the restaurant on site to grab a drink and a bite to eat while she wrapped up paperwork. 


Sometime after 9 p.m., Karla paid her tab and returned to her room. That’s when her nightmare began - She was sexually assaulted that evening by the hotel’s on-duty security guard. 


Listen in as Karla navigates the very frustrating criminal justice system and ultimately pursues justice against the hotel that should have protected her and other guests from harm. 


Characters in this episode:

⚖️ Karla Gress, Plaintiff 

  • Married mother of three from Texas. Was sexually assaulted by a hotel security guard while on a business trip in the Chicago-area
  • “It doesn’t matter if I was drugged or if I had that drink and he came to my room and raped me. This wasn’t my fault.”


⚖️ Tara R. Devine, Partner at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard

  • Lawyer representing Karla’s case against the hotel.
  • “The consequences of drinking four cosmos is a hangover. The consequences of having four cosmos is not having a security guard get access to your room, acting as a maintenance man and raping you while you are unable to consent.” 


⚖️ Jaclyn J. Kurth, Attorney at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard

  • Lawyer representing Karla’s case.
  • “Karla recognized that as a guest of a hotel, nobody should ever be at risk the way she was – let alone by one of their own employees.”


Plot Points:

A match made in Heaven: Karla meets her husband Dean and they realize they have a shared interest in creative projects and traveling.

Too good to be true: Karla accepts a “dream job” as a senior application consultant with a nationally-recognized transcription company that allowed her to travel 100 percent of the time. 

The nightmare begins: Karla is sent on a last-minute work trip that changes the course of her life forever

Lost memories: After a typical day visiting area hospitals, Karla grabs dinner at her hotel’s on-site restaurant, Bar Louie. But after paying her tab, her memory goes black. 

Piecing the night together: Karla wakes up with bruises and feeling ill. She powers through the work day and realizes something terrible happened to her the night before. She flies home to Texas where she undergoes a rape kit.

Chilling findings: Karla finds a chilling image on her phone that suggests her assailant was an on-duty hotel employee whose job as a security guard charged him with keeping guests safe.

No justice: The criminal case against the security guard meets a number of dead ends, prompting Karla to examine other avenues of justice.

The fight finds new life: Karla enlists the help of a team of civil attorneys at Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard to file a premises liability lawsuit against the hotel that should have protected her from harm

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