22-06-06

Hilton Ruiz

I got this update in thje mailbox :

 

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The family of the late jazz pianist and composer
Hilton Ruiz has sued a Bourbon Street dance club, saying he was attacked and beaten there and the club's bouncers failed either to protect him or to help him afterward.
"We are very confident there are people out there who are aware of what  happened to Mr. Ruiz in that club in the early hours of May 19,"
attorney Scott Galante said Monday. "We are urging people and pleading
with people to come forward to my office or the New Orleans Police
Department with their information."
Ruiz, 54, of Teaneck, N.J., died June 6, about 2 1/2 weeks after he fell
in front of the Club Utopia, named as the defendant in the negligence
lawsuit filed by his daughter, Aida Ruiz. He excelled in a wide variety
of styles from Afro-Cuban rhythms to the blues, and had come to New
Orleans to make a video to go with a benefit recording for Hurricane
Katrina victims.
After he had been in the Utopia for several hours, the lawsuit alleges,
Ruiz was attacked by several people. The club's security workers "failed
to intervene in any meaningful fashion," or to call an ambulance for
Ruiz, but instead threw or escorted him out and "abandoned" him even
though he was clearly unable to make his way to safety, the suit alleges.
Fred Woodruff, manager of the Utopia, said that, as far as he knows,
that never happened.
"We have no knowledge of that whatsoever," said Woodruff. He had not
heard about the lawsuit, which was filed last week in Civil District 
Court.
Woodruff said he has not reviewed the club's security tapes, and police
have not asked to see them.
Galante said, "Obviously, it's something we're seeking," but wouldn't
comment when asked whether he had asked the club for its tapes.
Ten days before Ruiz was hospitalized, an altercation involving five
people inside the Utopia led to a murder just outside, police have said.
In that case, a man argued with three women who refused to accept drinks from him, hitting one with a bottle and punching another, and then shot and killed the man who escorted the women outside to wait for an
ambulance, police said.
Police have said they first investigated the injuries to Ruiz's face and
head as an attack, but witnesses and other evidence all indicated that
they were the result of a fall early May 19.
He never regained consciousness.
Police spokeswoman Bambi Hall said the department is cooperating with
the family's lawyers, but stands by its investigators' original
conclusion. "We can't speak to what Utopia did or did not do," she said.
Mary Howell, the first attorney retained by Ruiz's daughter and ex-wife,
also named Aida, said while Ruiz was still alive that his family was
convinced that Ruiz had accidentally tripped or fallen.
But the younger Aida Ruiz then retained Galante.

09:39 Gepost door Lexman | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

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