Article by: David Lohr
An Indiana man is suing a strip club, claiming he was injured by a heavy-heeled shoe that came off an exotic dancer’s foot when she was performing a “high-kick maneuver,” his attorney said today.
“As bizarre as it is, the strip club had a duty to protect its customers and it did not do that,” attorney Syed Ali Saeed told AOL News. “[They] need to make sure people are wearing the right kind of clothes and [that those clothes] are not flying off.”
Saeed’s client, Jake Quagliaroli, 34, of Indianapolis, was visiting PT’s Showclub in nearby Lawrence last month when the alleged shoe assault occurred. According to Saeed, Quagliaroli was standing about 20 feet away from the stage when a dancer’s shoe flew off during a performance, traveled across the room and struck him in the mouth.
“He was bleeding [and] his front four teeth were chipped,” Saeed said. “It was not a situation where it was a light tap on the face. It hit him with quite a bit of force. You can imagine the velocity at which the shoe must have come out when it hit him in the face.”
Saeed said he is not sure of the exact style of footwear the stripper was wearing at the time of the shoe-in-mouth incident.
“We have our guess, based upon what our client said, but what I do know is it was one of those heavy shoes with a big heel,” Saeed said. “I do not know if it had a strap or not.”
According to the lawsuit, which was filed last week in Marion Superior Court, Quagliaroli is claiming battery and negligence by the strip club and is asking a jury to grant him an unspecified sum for damages.
Saeed says his client had to get veneers and temporary caps. He may also need a root canal and future dental work. “A dentist has told him the [veneers] will have to be replaced every 10 to 15 years, so he is definitely looking at quite a bit of expense,” the attorney said.
Matt Denham, manager of the Showclub’s Indiana chain, told AOL News that he was not at liberty to discuss the case. Asked who might be, he replied, “It’s going to be above my pay grade. I couldn’t tell you.”
An e-mail sent to the company’s corporate website was not immediately returned.
As bizarre as the story may sound, Quagliaroli is not the first patron of exotic dancers to file a lawsuit for injuries allegedly received during a performance.
In October, Michael Ireland, a roofer from West Palm Beach, Fla., was awarded a $650,000 judgment from a strip club.
Ireland said he was seated at the stage inside the establishment when a stripper spun around and accidentally struck him in the face. In court, Ireland’s attorney successfully argued that his client suffered broken bones and chronic double vision.
A man named Yusuf Evans filed a $25,000 suit against an Akron, Ohio, strip club in January 2009. Evans said he was watching a dancer perform a high kick when her shoe flew off and struck him in the face.
“When the boot hit me in my face all I could do is drop … and just holler for about 10 minutes,” Evans said, according to The Telegraph.
Evans said he suffered injuries to his nose and required surgery because after the incident he could only breathe out of one nostril. The case reportedly was settled in May 2010 after the strip club countersued Evans for defamation and filing a frivolous action.
Paul Shimkonis, a physical therapist from Clearwater, Fla., filed a lawsuit seeking more than $15,000 against the Diamond Dolls club in the late 1990s. Shimkonis said he was at a bachelor party at the club where Playboy cover girl Tawny Peaks was performing when she slammed her size-69HH breasts into his head, causing him to suffer whiplash.
“I saw stars. … It was like two cement blocks hit me,” Shimkonis told The Eugene Register-Guard.
When the case went to “The People’s Court” in July 1998, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch presided over the televised trial. He ruled in Peaks’ favor after a female court officer examined the defendant’s breasts in private and found them too soft to cause the alleged injury.
According to Saeed, an outcome in his client’s case will likely take some time. He is, however, confident that he has a strong case.
“It’s getting picked up [by the media] because of bizarre background, but it is no different than a tort that might have happened on the street,” Saeed said. “It’s a normal case.”
Legal analyst Anne Bremner, a Seattle attorney, agrees that the case has a chance of winning in court.
“It actually is a legit case,” Bremner told AOL News. “Given their [dancers'] practices and garb, it is reasonably foreseeable that such injuries could occur.”
Regardless of the eventual outcome, Saeed says it is high time that the strip club industry start regulating itself.
“They are well aware that heavy, loose-fitting shoes, combined with high-kick maneuvers and things like that, can lead to unintended injuries,” he said.