Tag Archives: lawsuits

Michael Jackson’s Doctor to Face Charges Tomorrow – UPDATE

It appears now that Michael Jackson’s personal doctor, Dr. Conrad Murray, with offices in Texas and Las Vegas, will most likely formally face involuntary manslaughter charges tomorrow in Los Angeles, California. 

UPDATE:  Dr. Murray WAS indeed going to face charges today, Feb. 5.  And, in fact, was in Los Angeles waiting – begging – to turn himself in, but Los Angeles authorities refused to act on his pleading, saying they will on Mon.,  Feb. 8.  We apologize for any inconvenience this caused in your day. 

Dr. Murray has been investigated for the past seven months since the pop icon’s untimely death. 

The charge results from improperly administering Michael Jackson the propofyl sleep inducing drug that ultimately ended his life. 

The charge, many feel, is a mere legal wrist slap, probably being a 4-year prison term, if that, if deemed guilty.

Yesterday, Dr. Murray was supposed to appear in a $130,000 civil suit in Las Vegas, but decided not to appear, losing the case. 

Las Vegas Backstage Access has covered the entire Michael Jackson case, with numerous articles posted.

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Former NBA Celtic Star Antoine Walker in Serious Debt, Writes $1 Million in Bad Checks in Las Vegas

Antoine Walker, a former NBA Boston Celtics star, is in deep debt and has been under pursuit of multiple financial institutions recently- and now, even Sin City has caught up with the wayward dribbler. AntoineWalker

Reportedly, in 12 years, 33-year-old Walker made more than $110 million by playing professional basketball just so-so. Taking away taxes, throwing in some aid as endorsement money and a “NBA Live 99″ cover, he should be left with around $60 million. 

But all that loot has apparently vanished.  During the last several months, the once multi-millionaire athlete has been pursued by multiple financial institutions for unpaid debts. 

Now, Walker owes more than $4 million dollars to his creditors and is facing felony check fraud charges for allegedly writing $1 million in bad checks in Las Vegas.  Talk about a major foul out!

Does he need counseling from the reformed and outspoken NBA player Charles Barkley? 

How could that amount of money dissipate?   Well, Walker lived large- really large.  He always rolled with an outsized entourage. His mother estimates that, during his playing days, he was supporting 70 friends and family members in one way or another. 

And speaking of his good ol’ mom:  he built her a mansion in the Chicago suburbs, complete with an indoor pool, 10 bathrooms, and a full-size basketball court– hopefully, it allows her wheelchair access and includes a trainer.

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Man Gets Legally & Physically Burned at Burning Man

The Nevada Supreme Court has refused to reinstate a lawsuit by a man who approached the flames at the Burning Man festival and got burned. 

The justices voted unanimously on Sept. 16 to deny review of an appeal by Anthony Beninati, who sought damages from the promoter of the annual celebration in the Nevada desert. 

Beninati, a real estate manager from Los Angeles, was badly burned at the September 2005 event in Black Rock City, Nev. He was making his third visit to the weeklong festival, which ends with the torching of a 60-foot wood sculpture. 

Once the Burning Man topples, some participants throw objects into the bonfire.  Beninati approached with the photo of a friend who had recently died in a motorcycle accident. He walked 7 to 10 feet into the burning embers, with flames on either side of him, threw in the photo, took a few more steps forward, then tripped – over a hidden obstacle, he said – and fell into the fire. He was badly burned on his hands and legs and was airlifted to a hospital. 

Beninati’s suit accused Black Rock City LLC, the San Francisco-based promoter, of negligently allowing people to approach the fire without safe pathways. 

In a June 30 ruling, the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco said anyone who takes part in an event with obvious dangers – downhill skiing, mountain climbing or walking up to a bonfire – knowingly risks injury. 

“The risk of falling and being burned by the flames or hot ash was inherent, obvious and necessary to the event,” the court said in a 3-0 decision that upheld a judge’s dismissal of the suit. 

Evan Marshall, Beninati’s lawyer, said that suits by people injured in risky activities have been dismissed in the past only when the plaintiff was in a dangerous profession, such as law enforcement, or took part in a hazardous sport. 

Marshall further said a jury should have been allowed to decide whether the promoter of a cultural event used reasonable care to protect participants from preventable injuries. 

The case is Beninati vs. Black Rock, S175409.

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It’s Tough, Very Tough Being Heidi Fleiss

The television soap opera Guiding Light recently aired its final episode after running a glorious 72 years.  But, as normally is the case, when one show leaves, something is always right there waiting in the wings to fill the entertainment vacuum.    Sporting a similar theme on a variation, there is the inimitable Heidi Fleiss.  Although she’s not 72 yet – she only looks that old – hardly a day goes by when one drama is replaced with yet another surrounding Fleiss’ colorful and checkered life in and around Sin City-  the city’s monicker and her lifelong passion, no matter how it is packaged.

For today’s update Las Vegas Backstage Access learns that the former “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss’ Las Vegas dog grooming business has been shut down by a judge as part of a civil lawsuit, just two days after she was sentenced to three years probation on felony drug charges.

Fleiss’ Dirty Dog salon had been open only three days when Clark County District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ordered it closed last Thursday.

The ruling was in response to a motion filed by Jeffery Marvian, who claims his estranged wife conspired to sell the business to Fleiss in violation of the couple’s ongoing divorce action.

Marvian’s attorney, Shelley Lubritz, apparently has the smoking gun:  She said she recorded a conversation in which her client’s wife, Nickol Marvian, admitted selling the business to Fleiss and porn star Kendra Jade Rossi behind Jeffery Marvian’s back.

Lubritz said the Marvians took out a $60,000 second mortgage on their home to start the shop, so they both have an interest in the business.

Gonzalez ordered Dirty Dog to remain closed until a Sept. 30 hearing that could determine whether Fleiss will be allowed to reopen the salon.

Fleiss on Friday denied any involvement in a conspiracy and said she is confident the business will be allowed to reopen.

“I’ll just have to tell my side to the judge,” she told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I already had a sign made up that says I’ll be open on the first (of October). On the first, I’m offering free self-washes to anyone who comes in.”

Last Tuesday, Fleiss was placed on probation for three years stemming from her arrest in the rural Nevada town of Parhrump where she lives. Fleiss pleaded guilty to unlawful use of methamphetamine and possession of the painkiller hydrocodone without a prescription.

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Former Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss Sentenced to Be Sober for Three Years

Las Vegas Backstage Access continues to follow the trials and tribulations of former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss.  Now we learn she has been sentenced after pleading guilty to charges of methamphetamine use and possession of painkiller hydrocodone without a prescription in Nye County, Nevada. 

Former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, who is a resident in Nye County and has a residence just outside Pahrump, Nevada, received sentencing for a drug arrest. 

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Heidi Fleiss, 43, was sentenced Tuesday in Pahrump to three years of probation and ordered to give up drugs, alcohol, and gambling. 

While on probation she is subject to random drug testing and must go through a court-mandated drug seminar. 

Ironically, she has completed a drug treatment as paid cast member on the VH-1 reality show “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew,” which will air in 2010. 

Fleiss commented to press that she should not have any issues keeping the terms of her probation. Fleiss said, “Anything that’s going to keep me on the right path, I’m all for. This whole thing was stupid on my part. I’m just irritated with myself.” 

On February 7, 2008 she was caught in a traffic stop outside a Pahrump plumbing supply store and possessed six hydrocodone pills without a prescription. After her arrest she took a mandated blood test that came back positive for methamphetamine. 

She pleaded guilty this July to charges of methamphetamine use and possession of hydrocodone without a prescription. 

The article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Nye Country District Attorney, Bob Beckett said that Fleiss was barred from gambling after a parole and probation report suggested casino games might fuel her addictions. 

Fleiss replied: “It’s probably a good thing. It’s like being barred from eating hot dogs, who cares?”  She quickly added, however, that getting permission every time she leaves the state “such a hassle.” 

Fleiss is far from being out of a passle of current legal troubles.  She faces some landlord issues after they filed a $40,000 lawsuit seeking damages from parrots to a rental house Fleiss was staying in.  And she is also being sued over her business venture, a dog grooming business called ‘Dirty Dog’ which is caught up in a messy divorce between the former owners. 

Fleiss said in the report, “Sometimes being Heidi Fleiss can be a pain in the ass.”

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NFL Player LaMont Jordan Sued by Las Vegas Casino

LaMontJordanNFL running back LaMont Jordan has been accused by the Mirage Casino in Las Vegas of failing to honor markers totaling $20,000, according to a suit filed by the resort in Clark County. The debts are treated as bad checks by Nevada law, and can result in criminal charges and arrest, if not resolved.

Jordan joins NBA stars Charles Barkley and Antoine Walker in being pursued by casinos chasing gambling debts. Barkley and Walker each owed many times as much as Jordan, causing a public splash over athletes extended credit to gamble who then defaulted.

Barkley paid his debt and a ten percent fee to the Clark County attorney’s office. Walker was arrested only days after the claim against him was filed while visiting a Reno casino.

Jordan’s debts are from June of last year, say Mirage officials. Six vouchers totalling $20,000 were issued over two days, but payment was rejected for insufficient funds.

Jordan has played for the New York Jets, the Oakland Raiders, and the New England Patriots. This year he enters the season on the roster of the Denver Broncos.

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Cathouse Management in Las Vegas in One Doozy of Vicious Legal Catfight

A recent article in the Las Vegas Sun details the lawsuit that CatHouse (in the Luxor) partner Seth Yudof and his company, Creative Eyes LLC, filed in Clark County District Court against companies and individuals involved in the CatHouse at the Luxor hotel-casino, including himself. The suit asks for a court order accounting of the finances of the CatHouse and that a receiver be appointed to preserve the property, capital and assets controlled by the defendants. The defendants include Heptagon LLC, Heptagon Trading LLC, Heptagon Holdings LLC, Billy Cross, Nick Landazuri, Mick Doohan, and Yudof who is the managing member of one of the companies he and Creative Eyes are suing. 

Creative Eyes and Yudof claim a breach of contract, fraud and conspiracy related to an alleged consulting agreement between Creative Eyes and one of the CatHouse companies. The 2007 agreement with Heptagon Trading was for creative and entertainment direction for the club. It continues stating that Creative Eyes was to be paid a consulting fee of $100,000 per year and given a 7.5 percent membership interest in Heptagon LLC. The suit claims that Yudof and Cross were supposed to jointly manage Heptagon LLC. The suit also claims that Cross in 2008 negotiated a $250,000 loan from the Luxor, without the knowledge of Yudof. 

It continues to state that last September, Creative Eyes’ biweekly checks dropped from $3,846 to $2,000 and that Yudof was denied access to the books, records, vendor lists and other documents of Heptagon LLC’s operating agreement. Along with claims of being threatened, intimidated and bullied by Cross and Landazuri, the suit charges that the defendants have used Yudof’s Social Security number and personal information to engage in transactions … which were not disclosed to plaintiffs. “The defendants … even went so far as to change the locks at the CatHouse … and informed the employees that Yudof was not to be left unsupervised in the venue.” The complaint also states that certain members are now attempting to liquidate Heptagon LLC without giving Yudof the right of first refusal to buy their membership shares, even though he has offered to buy out the other interests in the business for $2.4 million. 

Luxor executives supposedly have shown the CatHouse property to potential new suitors, saying it is available for lease.  No takers as of yet.   But rumors are flying that Vegas deal maker Jack Wishna is now in the picture with an offer to purchase The Cathouse and open other like venues in other location outside of Vegas. 

The CatHouse supposedly also recently banned Cris Angel from the property after he was suspected of daring a female patron dis-robe for $100.

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Controversy Swirls as Circus Comes to Las Vegas

The circus is back in Las Vegas, performing this weekend at the Orleans in Las Vegas.  The Ringling Brothers-Barnum and Bailey Circus arrived Tuesday night for their annual visit, but this year is different. The circus is awaiting a decision by a federal judge about whether it can continue to use endangered elephants in its act. elephant

Animal welfare groups have alleged for many years that what Ringling Brothers does is inherently cruel to elephants. Now, they’re waiting to see if a federal judge agrees with them. They hope this is the end of the line for more than a century of animal cruelty. The Ringling folks are just as confident that the show will go on. 

Animal activist Linda Faso has helped organize protests against every circus to hit Las Vegas for the last two decades, arguing it is inherently cruel to endangered Asian elephants to force them into the life of a traveling carny, and the proof is in the chaining of their feet. 

Some of the most pointed testimony to emerge in a six week federal trial focused on the feet of Ringling elephants. Nearly all of the animals have foot problems to one degree or another, not only because they spend most of their lives in chains, either in rail cars or on asphalt parking lots like the Orleans in Las Vegas, but also because elephants simply aren’t built to perform the kind of tricks they are taught for the circus. 

Former Ringling elephant handler Tom Rider was one of the star witnesses in the federal trial. He told the court there is only one way to get large, intelligent creatures to don funny outfits and perform amusing tricks, and that’s thru the use of pain and fear, as manifested in the use of the infamous bullhook. Ringling has compared the bullhook to a leash for dogs, but video captured around the country shows otherwise. 

The federal trial ended last March. The judge could decide that Ringling can no longer put elephants on the road and in the show. Even if the circus prevails in the case, the groups that sued believe they’ve already made an impact. 

At the Las Vegas unloading, the traditional bullhooks were nowhere to be seen, replaced instead by smaller, less menacing devices. It’s not enough, animal groups say. “I would assume that in various cities there are a lot more people watching now, so they are being more careful, and it’s just behind the scenes. I’m sure the elephants are being chained still, in boxcars which the general public doesn’t get to see,” said Nicole Paquett, attorney for Born Free USA. 

Paquett says the federal judge has scheduled more oral arguments to be held in July, so a decision won’t happen until after those sessions. But can Ringling carry on without its elephants? The animal welfare folks say yes and they point to the success of Cirque De Soleil shows in Las Vegas and throughout the world as an example.

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Las Vegas Adult Entertainment Club Class Action Lawsuit Claims Taxi, Limo Company Extortion, Illegal Kickbacks

A class action lawsuit filed on June 2 alleges a wide-ranging extortion scheme involving Las Vegas’ most prominent adult entertainment clubs and taxi and limousine companies.  The suit, which was filed in federal court in Las Vegas, alleges that taxi and limousine companies extorted more than $40 million in illegal kickbacks from local strip clubs.   

According to the legal complaint, Las Vegas taxi and limousine drivers demanded payments from the clubs of as much as $100 per male passenger.  If the clubs refused to pay, the drivers would simply divert passengers to a different club. The lawsuit claims that the kickback scheme hurts Las Vegas at a time when the city is already suffering economically.   

“Vegas has been one of the top tourist destinations in America for families, but its position is being threatened,” says Jay Edelson, lead attorney for the lawsuit.  “This is precisely the type of activity that keeps families away.” 

As taxi drivers prefer to pick up men who are more likely to go to strip clubs, the suit claims that families and women were snubbed by drivers and found it hard to hail a cab at  night.  The suit also claims that millions of dollars in tax revenue have gone unpaid to the local, state, and federal government. 

The allegations of a wide-ranging extortion scheme have been hotly discussed locally.  An recent expose by George Knapp, a nationally recognized Las Vegas  investigative reporter, found that cabbies routinely lied to  passengers—telling them that certain clubs are undesirable or unsafe (“riddled with bullet holes” was one description) in hopes of diverting them to a “paying” location.  After Nevada state  legislators attempted to put an end to this practice, the cab drivers responded by flexing their muscles.  They shut down the Strip and threatened to crash ground transportation at the airport. 

“The vast majority of taxi and limo drivers are honest and hardworking people, but this minority has a stranglehold on the city,” says Edelson. “It is finally time to put this practice to an end.”   

The suit is being brought on behalf of Theodore Trapp who lives in Southern California, and as a nationwide class. The suit names more than two dozen defendants including, Deja Vu Showgirls, Spearmint Rhino, Cheetah’s, Yellow Cab Co. and Checker Cab Co. It also references Tony Chong, an individual taxi driver who, according to the suit, has publicly admitted his involvement in the extortion scheme. 

To download a copy of the lawsuit filed:  http://www.prnewschannel.com/pdf/Trapp-Big_Poppa.pdf

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Paris Hilton to Stand Trial for Breach of Contract

Socialite extraordinaire and frequent Las Vegas partier Paris Hilton is like no other.  She just slipped up and didn’t honor a deal to promote herself as part of the film Pledge This!, according to its producers. ParisHilton3

A Miami judge ruled that he will not throw out a breach-of-contract lawsuit brought against the filthy rich ho-tel heiress by the distributors of the 2006 drivel. 

Investors claim Paris’ failure to abide by her contractual obligation to adequately plug the straight-to-DVD sorority flick resulted in a loss of $8.3 million. 

Ironically, she’s now indirectly doing more to promote it – testifying how she has to Google herself daily to remember what she said or did, rather than keep records, and so on – more than marketing managers could have possibly dreamed of. 

Her attorney recently claimed Hilton to be “the single busiest person on the planet,” but still the logic escaped the  judge that didn’t throw out the case, telling her she must stand trial June 8. 

As for her other projects less likely to result in lawsuits, she’s now soaking up the sun in Europe, with beau Doug Reinhardt, promoting the upcoming documentary Paris, Not France appearing this week at the Cannes Film Festival. 

Hilton is also already hyping the forthcoming Season 2 of My New BFF that kicks off on June 2 on MTV, something that seems to hearken back to her Pledge This! days. 

“It was basically Paris’ sorority house,” Hilton tells E! News.  “It’s about sisterhood – there’s pledging, there’s crazy challenges. We had the best time. We started out in Las Vegas, and these kids really were up for anything.”

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Grammy Winner Toni Braxton Sues Lloyd’s of London

Former Flamingo headliner and Las Vegas resident Toni Braxton is suing insurance giant specialist Lloyd’s of Londontonibraxton for refusing to pay her for the months of work she missed entertaining in Las Vegas because of her alleged heart condition. 

The six-time Grammy winner is suing for undisclosed damages, claiming she bought “non-appearance” and “cancellation” insurance which protects entertainers in case of cancellations. 

Published reports indicate Braxton discovered she had pericarditis, an inflammation of the sack surrounding the heart, after the birth of her second son, Diezel, on March 31, 2003. 

However, not long after leaving the Flamingo – still having nine months on her entertainment contract – Braxton competed on ABC TVs “Dancing with the Stars.”

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Las Vegas’ CityCenter Project Facing Collapse?

The very survival hangs in the balance for Las Vegas’ largest employer and the city’s largest construction project- and arguably one of the world’s largest and most expensive buildings.   MGM Mirage, operating nine Las Vegas Strip resorts and employing more than 61,000 workers, is now embroiled in a contentious lawsuit over the $9.1 billion, 76-acre CityCenter development with its half-shared partner, Dubai World through its Infinity World financial subsidiary.  dubaiworld

Analysts said the lawsuit filed Sunday casts a damaging dark cloud over the project and sends more negative signals on the overall financial health of MGM Mirage.   According to the lawsuit, Dubai World, a 50-50 joint venture partner in the CityCenter project, is seeking unspecified damages and wants to be relieved of its obligation under the companies’ agreement, which was struck in August 2007. 

Dubai World, a world-leading business conglomerate suffering from a two-thirds drop in their oil prices – leading some to question if the lawsuit is merely trying to sever their joint venture agreement or simply gain more project control – said MGM Mirage, which is CityCenter’s managing partner, is responsible for mismanagement and cost overruns with the project.  Dubai World further contends that statements by the MGM Mirage in the company’s financial filings last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission constitute a breach of the joint-venture pact and has put the project at risk. 

The lawsuit took the MGM Mirage reportedly by surprise, but theirspokespeople responded vehemently yesterday that they are doing everything they can do and are ready, willing, and more than able to meet all financial obligations and debt holder payments. 

Despite the lawsuit, CityCenter still plans to open in stages, starting in October with Vdara, a nongaming condominium and hotel tower, and Aria, CityCenter’s centerpiece 4,004-room hotel-casino, scheduled to open on December 16.  

MGM Mirage continues to accept job applications, having over 90,000 job applications for the CityCenter project and planning to hire 10,000 employees to boost the staganant Las Vegas economy. 

However, MGM Mirage and Dubai World are still seeking the remaining $1.2 billion in financing to finish the project. 

MGM Mirage received from its lenders last week a two-month waiver to avoid violating its loan covenants.   Some financial analysts believe that MGM Mirage might have to file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy to restructure their $13.5 billion in debt.

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Junk for some is $900,000 art for others

Two San Francisco artists are suing a Gerlach farm-owner claiming he torched La Contessa, a replica of a 16th century Spanish galleon that often appeared at the annual Burning Man festival.contessa

Simon Cheffins, an artist, and Greg Jones, a mechanical engineer who helped build it, said in their suit that Mike Stewart, owner of Orient Farms, considered their creation “junk” and destroyed it on Dec. 5, 2006.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Reno, claims Stewart violated a federal law that prohibits the destruction of art work and seeks $900,000 in damages and also punitive damages and legal fees.

Although the ship was kept on property that Stewart had later acquired, the “Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990″ protects and artist’s work regardless of where it’s housed, said Paul Quade, a Reno lawyer representing Cheffins and Jones.

Stewart, an outspoken opponent of Burning Man, never tried to contact the artists, Quade said, and had the debris left after the burning hauled away for “scrap.”
 
Quaid said that it took about 100 people more than 9,000 hours to build the galleon in 2001 and 2002 using donated funds and grant money.

“Performances of theatre, music and trapeze took place on La Contessa during Burning Man and other festivals,” Quade said. It was also featured as “a significant work of art” in numerous media outlets, he said, including Rolling Stone Magazine, the Discovery Channel, and the San Francisco Guardian.

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Wynn’s Lace Up Sparing Gloves

Steve Wynn and wife Elaine have selected their lawyers for their divorce battle.   In Elaine’s corner will be lawyer Don Schiller, who represented Juanita Jordan in her divorce from NBA icon Michael Jordan. 

In Steve’s corner will be attorney James Jimmerson, who handled Wayne Newton’s divorce and Mike Tyson’s bid to regain his boxing license.

With Forbes magazine announcing this week in its annual ranking of billionaires that Steve Wynn’s worth is pegged at $1.5 billion, down from $3.9 billion a year ago, the trial will assuredly provide the backdrop for one of the biggest divorce settlements in U.S. history. 

Chicago-based Schiller won a $168 million settlement for Juanita, which was ranked by Forbes magazine as “the most expensive in entertainment history.”

But Steve Wynn, who filed for divorce from Elaine on March 5, now reportedly being in love with British divorcee and socialite Andrea Danenza Hissom, will probably give up more than that.  The split is thought not be an amicable one.

In comparison, like billionaire Rupert Murdoch coughed up $1.2 billion in assets to former wife, Anna.

This has lead some to believe that the Wynn’s will eventually settle by splitting up the two huge Las Vegas casino-hotels – Wynn Las Vegas and Encore -that they opened in the past five years, renaming them Steve’s and Elaine’s.

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Las Vegas Nightclub Discrimination Lawsuit Continues

Las Vegas Strip casino and shopping mall lost a bid on Thursday to throw out a hip hop nightclub’s lawsuit alleging it is being discriminated against because most of its patrons are black. poetrynightclub

U.S. District Court Judge James Mahan said it was too early to make a decision until he hears more about Poetry nightclub’s claims of corporate racial bias against Caesars Palace, the Forum Shops and property owner Simon Property Group Inc. 

“There’s enough here that it survives a motion to dismiss,” Mahan said from the bench at the end of a one-hour procedural hearing. The judge said that the civil lawsuit was still in early pleading stages, and called for written motions before scheduling more arguments. 

Club owner Phase II Chin LLC, in a civil lawsuit filed Feb. 7, 2008, seeks unspecified monetary damages and orders prohibiting “racially-motivated” discrimination by the corporate entities.  “They don’t want black patrons in this establishment,” club attorney Harold Gewerter told the judge Thursday. “They don’t come out and say they don’t want minority patrons in there. But they show it with their conduct.” 

Caesars, Simon and the Forum Shops deny the discrimination bias claims, and lawyers argued that the case amounts to a lease contract dispute. They said Poetry was operating under an illegal sublease with the Wolfgang Puck restaurant, Chinois.  “Any claims of any racial bias are outrageous and completely false,” Gary Thompson, spokesman for Caesars Palace owner Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., said in a telephone interview. “The actual facts will come out as the case proceeds.”

Lawyer Charles McCrea Jr., representing Forum Shops and Simon Properties, said there was no evidence of bias in the four breach of lease notices he said the property owners sent to Chinois.  “We have a right to notify them the management contract violated the lease,” McCrae said. “Nothing in those notices alludes to race or demography.” 

Caesars lawyer Steve Morris said the casino was even further removed from any relationship with the club. “There is no contract with Caesars,” Morris told the judge, arguing that without a contractual relationship between the club and the casino, there could be no bias. 

Club representatives say they have a management contract, not a sublease, to operate an after-hours club upstairs from Chinois. Gewerter argued that made the club a “third party beneficiary” of the Chinois contract with Forum Shops, Simon and Caesars. 

The club, initially called OPM, opened in May 2003. The lawsuit alleges that by January 2005, Caesars, Forum Shops and Simon began “an ongoing campaign of harassment and misconduct” to force the club out. 

Club manager Michael Goodwin said outside court Thursday that because his club caters to a black clientele, casino and mall managers blame it for “every negative activity in Las Vegas and around Caesars Palace having to do with African-American people.” 

Goodwin denied incidents that officials cite involved club patrons, and said owners of the casino and upscale 160-store mall also imposed prohibitively expensive security requirements as a condition of allowing entry to the club through the main Forum Shops concourse-which Goodwin called “the only dignified way to enter.” 

Goodwin said he employs 30 security staffers inside the club and hires four armed Las Vegas police officers per night outside the club, which is open 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. four nights a week. He said he can’t pay what he called “impossible money” for more.  That means patrons in trendy club clothing have to enter by a back door and an unsightly litter-strewn service hallway.

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Bobby Flay’s Restaurants in Lawsuit: Employees Allege Wage Cheating

A new lawsuit accuses some of celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s restaurants of cheating workers.bobbyflay

The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court by current and former employees, names as a defendant Bold Food LLC. The company owns or operates Bar American and Mesa Grill NYC in Manhattan.  Another restaurant is in Atlantic City.

Bobby Flay’s Bold Food LLC also owns the Mesa Grill in Las Vegas. 

The lawsuit claims Flay’s company violated the wage and hour laws by engaging in improper tip-pooling practices. It also says the company failed to pay proper overtime pay and failed to reimburse employees for some expenses.

It’s one of a string of similar lawsuits filed on behalf of employees of New York restaurants.  No management comment provided if more lawsuits in other locations will be forthcoming.

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