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Nightclub Ignored Woman's Complaints About Drunk Man Who Attacked Her: Suit

By Maya Rajamani | August 22, 2017 9:31am
 Avenue nightclub, at 116 10th Ave., near West 17th Street.
Avenue nightclub, at 116 10th Ave., near West 17th Street.
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Facebook/Avenue Nightclub

CHELSEA — A 10th Avenue nightclub failed to boot a drunk patron who had harassed a woman at the popular venue despite her warnings to security staff, leading the boozed-up club-goer to attack the victim after being fed more drinks, a new lawsuit charges.

Manhattan resident Sarah Pepe had just left Avenue, at 116 10th Ave. near West 17th Street, on March 16 when she was “physically attacked and beaten” by another patron, a lawsuit filed last week against nightclub operator Chelsea Hospitality Partners in Manhattan Supreme Court claims.

Earlier that night, the man who attacked Pepe had been “verbally harassing her” inside the venue, her attorney Daniel Niamehr told DNAinfo New York.

“My client just tried to really avoid the man, but as the night went on, he got more and more intoxicated and started to get worse — he started getting aggressive toward her,” Niamehr said.

Pepe told a security guard at the nightclub about the man several times — saying she was “scared for her safety" — and security checked in with the man but didn’t boot him from the club, the attorney added.

The suit claims Pepe’s attacker was “visibly intoxicated” inside the club, but that the venue kept serving him alcohol anyway.

Chelsea Hospitality Partners had a duty to protect its patrons and prevent “foreseeable risks of criminal attacks,” but “failed to take adequate or reasonable steps to prevent or stop the attack upon [Pepe],” despite being “on notice that [Pepe’s] attacker posed a specific threat to [her] safety,” the suit adds.

While Niamehr declined to go into detail about the injuries Pepe sustained, the suit says she suffered “severe personal injuries” and still has medical expenses to pay off.

Pepe is seeking unspecified damages, the suit adds. 

The club — which claims to be the “go-to meeting place for bold-faced names and scenesters alike” — has hosted events for celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Derek Jeter, according to its website.

Late last year, NBA player Matt Barnes was accused of attacking a woman inside the club in an incident that he ultimately only plead guilty to disorderly conduct charges.

The venue didn’t immediately respond to request for comment on the suit.