Chicago Night Club Hit Twice with Lawsuits Alleging Sexual Assault
In December of 2019, Chicago night club El Hefe faced its second sexual assault lawsuit from a female bar patron. According to CNN’s online news site, in early December, 2019, Elizabeth Capra filed a civil complaint for damages in Chicago’s Cook County Circuit Court alleging that she was drugged and sexually assaulted at El Hefe in 2014, and that El Hefe was responsible for her injuries. Says Capra about the sexual assault attack, “That evening I was out with a few girlfriends watching a Bears game…I was sitting at the bar and ordered my own drink. Had one drink. I don’t really remember anything after that, but my two girlfriends who were with me at the time told me I started acting extremely, extremely out of the ordinary, extremely intoxicated very fast.” Capra continued by stating that at one point her friends left to use the restroom, and when they returned, she was gone. According to Capra, El Hefe employees had allowed her to “leave the premises after being drugged, where she was sexually assaulted.”
Capra’s civil lawsuit comes after a prior-filed civil sexual assault premises liability lawsuit brought by another female El Hefe customer. In that lawsuit, the female customer alleges that she was approached by a man who was unknown to her at El Hefe, that El Hefe staff knew that she was intoxicated and “rapidly deteriorating”, and that El Hefe employees escorted her to the back alley of the bar where they stood by while she was sexually assaulted by the male bar patron. Security footage obtained from the evening of the incident shows a man guiding a stumbling woman down an alley while two other men stand by a doorway. El Hefe contends that it is their standard procedure to escort ill customers to the back exit of the bar, and that the male employees did not witness the sexual assault attack against Capra.
Attorneys for Elizabeth Capra commend her for her bravery, noting that “We are extremely proud of Liz for coming forward and being brave enough to tell her story.” At the time, Capra and her lawyers also called on Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to close El Hefe immediately, due to the danger of sexual assaults to female bar patrons.
Help with Your Houston Sexual Assault Premises Liability Case
As the case of Elizabeth Capra demonstrates, when a person is sexually assaulted at a business establishment, certain state sexual assault premises liability laws may apply. Fortunately, like in Illinois, in Texas, sexual assault premises liability laws hold negligent businesses accountable for failing to protect sexual assault victims from sexual assault attacks at their business properties. A person who has been sexually assaulted in Houston at a business property may have claims for damages against not only the sexual assault attacker themselves, but also the business for negligently failing to protect them against the sexual assault attack.
If you were sexually assaulted in Houston at a business property or premises, contact the Gilde Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation and speak to an experienced Houston sexual assault sex crime lawyer about your rights and options today.