Posted on: February 2, 2022, 02:53h.
Last updated on: February 2, 2022, 03:27h.
An ex-bartender at a South Summerlin, Nev. sports bar/gaming venue filed a lawsuit this week in state court. He is challenging how his paychecks were deducted to repay over $3,900 that he handed over to an armed bandit who demanded money.
The holdup took place on Dec. 4, 2020 at The Lodge Hualapai. The bartender, Edward Parker, 42, says he put his hands up when the robber appeared in the venue, brandishing a firearm, KLAS, a local TV station reported. Then, he gave the bandit the cash in the register and what was left on the bar.
Without consulting anyone, Parker put his signature on a repayment form a few hours after the robbery, KLAS said. He had agreed to $300 coming regularly from paychecks until the amount stolen, $3,937.35, was repaid. The total was repaid last summer.
I wasn’t thinking right,” Parker recently told the TV station. “I just had a gun shoved in my face and I signed the document.”
“It’s December 2020. We’re in the middle of COVID,” Parker added. “People are fighting for jobs left and right. I suppose I let the idea of having a steady job with steady income cloud my judgment.”
Parker was later fired from his job after taking a vacation, KLAS reported, based on statements from Parker and his attorneys: Sam Mirejovsky and Amanda Brookhyser, who specialize in litigation at their Las Vegas law firm.
The sports bar forced Parker to sign the contract and work under unfair conditions, the attorneys alleged in an interview with KLAS.
Lawyers Call It Outrageous
“It’s a demand for repayment, for money that was taken from him,” Mirejovsky told the TV station. “It’s the most outrageous thing I’ve ever seen and it’s not right.”
He allowed this armed assailant to come in, do what he was threatening to do, and leave without getting himself hurt or without getting the patrons hurt,” Brookhyser added in an interview with KLAS. “He did everything right. His employer did everything wrong.”
Police later arrested a suspect in the robbery. He was identified as Jack McLaughlin, 43. He faces charges for several armed robberies during 2020.
Recently, the Nevada Labor Commissioner’s office recommended a settlement between Parker and The Lodge Hualapai for $5,500, KLAS said. Parker refused to agree to the offer.
One gaming law professor, Robert Jarvis, who teaches at Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad College of Law and is not connected to the case, agreed that “The Lodge did everything wrong. And Parker did everything right.”
“It simply boggles the mind that the Lodge did what it did — its conduct is simply outrageous,” Jarvis told Casino.org. “Indeed, Parker is a hero, and the Lodge should have recognized him as such. Imagine if Parker had put up a struggle and McLaughlin had started shooting. In addition to Parker, the bar’s patrons and other staff members could have been hurt or killed.”
Six Figure Settlement Possible
Jarvis added he was not surprised that Parker turned down the Lodge’s $5,500 settlement offer. If the case goes to trial, a jury is going to be very sympathetic to Parker, Jarvis said. “If I were advising Parker, I would advise him to hold out for at least six figures,” Jarvis suggested.
Casino.org reached out to The Lodge for comment. But there was no immediate response.