John C. Taylor and James W. Lewis of Taylor & Ring obtained a landmark $5.4 million jury verdict for a woman who was raped at a night club in West Hollywood. The woman, now 43 years old, sued Here Lounge and nightclub worker Victor Cruz for assault and rape in the club’s bathroom.
Santa Monica Superior Court jurors found the bar failed to properly deploy its security guards on the night in question. The bar knew it had problems with patrons using the restrooms for sexual purposes, and knew or should have known their own employees were sometimes involved. The bar hired security to patrol the bathroom area, yet on the night in question, allowed the security personnel to go home early. This allowed their employee to take advantage of the female patron and rape her in a handicap bathroom while no one was around to supervise.
“This club turned a blind eye to sexual activity that was allowed to occur in the restroom area,” said Mr. Taylor. “Although they had a stated policy of security guards being present in the bathrooms, they weren’t present at the time of the attack.”
The woman was awarded damages for her serious emotional harm stemming from the rape. Mr. Taylor believes this verdict was the largest awarded by a jury for sexual assault against a club or bar.
This case was featured in the Los Angeles Times.