The lawsuit claims motel negligent in the death of Dalton Ford

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FARMINGTON — The ex-wife and son of a murder victim have filed a lawsuit against the Farmington motel where he was killed, alleging the business was negligent in his death.

A complaint was filed by Travis Ford and Linda Ford-Maloy on Sept. 10 in district court against Om Shanti Om Inc. and individuals associated with the Rimrock Lodge in Farmington.

The lawsuit seeks more than $50,000 in damages following the murder of Dalton Ford, 62, by Timothy Serrano on or around Sept. 14, 2015, according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges multiple claims including the owners and employees failed or refused to take adequate precautions to protect guests staying at the motel.

City of Farmington business records list a company called Patel, Ashok and Mamta in Los Angeles, California, as the owner of the Rim Rock Lodge. Om Shanti Om is listed on the business registration paperwork.

A man who did not identify himself at Patel, Ashok and Mamta stated he was not aware of the lawsuit and then hung up the phone.

Serrano was sentenced to 10 years in prison during a Oct. 31 sentencing hearing in Aztec District Court.

He agreed to a plea agreement on Oct. 16, pleading no contest to stabbing Dalton to death in a motel room at the Rimrock Lodge.

Dalton's body was found by the Farmington Police Department on Sept. 14, 2015.

Linda Ford-Maloy told the Daily Times that Dalton died around 1:30 a.m. and it was several hours before his body was found.

She and her son Travis are representing themselves in the lawsuit. 

The lawsuit states the plaintiffs have suffered damages following Dalton's death which led to them unable to afford an attorney.

Ford-Maloy claims there are no security cameras on the motel property and no security guards to walk the property and protect guests.

"If they had security, his life could have been saved and they could have seen who left the (motel) room," Linda Ford-Maloy said.

Serrano was arrested in May 2016 for the murder.

Ford-Maloy believes every motel and hotel business in New Mexico should have security cameras installed to protect the patrons of the businesses.

The complaint alleges Rimrock Lodge is responsible for providing sufficient security personnel and under a duty to provide protection for guests staying at the motel.

It also states the motel failed to provide adequate security and provide aid to Dalton's injuries.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

More: Serrano sentenced to 10 years on murder charge

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