UPDATED at 2:27p with dramatic info from Boca Police.
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — A stunning sexual assault lawsuit has been filed against Mizner Park mainstay Max's Grille by attorney Jeffrey Herman, but questions are being asked about the legitimacy of the claim.
BocaNewsNow.com has reviewed the original police report (read it here)which led to no charges, in part because the alleged assaulter is 91 years old, suffers from Parkinson's, and, according to employees, “doesn't know what he's doing half the time.” Employees also told police that it's unlikely his quick touch of a waitress was anything intentional.
Note that Jeffrey Herman is the Boca attorney who represented plaintiffs suing Elmo voice Kevin Clash. Three of the suits were ultimately dismissed due to what Hernan's firm calls a “legal technicality.” Herman is also the attorney suing Director Bryan Singer on behalf of an alleged sexual assault victim.
We are republishing the media advisory from Herman's law firm in its entirety.
Jeff Herman, a nationally recognized attorney for victims of sexual abuse, announces the filing of a lawsuit against Max’s Grille, a Boca Raton restaurant located in Mizner Park, and Gordon Heaver for the sexual assault of a former hostess.According to the Complaint:In approximately November, 2013, AVA SMITH began working at MAX’S GRILLE as a hostess. In the beginning of her employment, AVA SMITH was informed by the general manager of MAX’S GRILLE that there were certain “top customers” who routinely spent a great deal of money at MAX’S GRILLE. One of those “top customers” she was told about was GORDON HEAVER, who dined at MAX’S GRILLE approximately 3-4 times a week.Upon information and belief, it was well known among MAX’S GRILLE staff, management, and ownership, that GORDON HEAVER was sexually inappropriate with female guests and staff at MAX’S GRILLE.On approximately December 17, 2013, HEAVER dined at MAX’S GRILLE in the morning, and then came back again for dinner that evening. During dinner, HEAVER engaged in conversation with AVA SMITH and then MAX’S GRILLE manager John Mazza joined them at the table. While AVA SMITH was sitting next to HEAVER, he grabbed, groped, and squeezed AVA SMITH’s breast in a sexual manner. Upon information and belief, John Mazza observed this, said nothing, and quickly walked away from the table.AVA SMITH then reported what had happened to her to the other hostesses, and then informed manager John Mazza of the incident and that she could not finish her shift. AVA SMITH then left work and called the police.Upon returning to work the next Monday, MAX’S GRILLE management treated AVA SMITH in a retaliatory manner. MAX’S GRILLE reduced AVA SMITH’s hours and began reprimanding and falsely accusing AVA SMITH of misconduct she did not commit. Eventually, MAX’S GRILLE fired AVA SMITH.AVA SMITH v. MAX’S GRILLE (Case 9:14-cv-80652) was filed in U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida.“A restaurant must not allow its regular customers to sexually harass or assault its employees,” said Jeff Herman, the attorney for the victim in this case.