Roak, the former Upper Kirby funeral home turned trendy, South Beach-esque oontz-oontz lounge, was taken to court twice last month. Alleged assaults on the premises figure in both cases.
On May 23, attorney J. Michael Moore asked for and was granted a temporary restraining order and a temporary injunction against the exclusive club in an effort to obtain security footage before it can be erased.
According to the suit and criminal court records, while waiting for the valet to bring his car, Moore's client was allegedly punched in the mouth by a man named Fabian Paul Castaneda. Castaneda has been charged in criminal court with aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury and is currently free on $30,000 bond.
According to the civil suit, Castaneda was highly intoxicated and caused Moore's client "severe, permanent injuries." The suit further contends that the club's security tapes could show Castaneda's consumption of alcohol, over-service of same and possibly even the assault itself, and, as such, constitute critical evidence.
A mere two days later, a second suit was filed. This one alleges that a Roak bouncer cracked open the head of a patron who got into a dispute with the club's valets.
According to attorney Justin Strother's pleadings, on May 2, his client and some of his friends were attempting to leave the club when it emerged that the valet had misplaced the plaintiff's keys. According to the suit, the bouncer (listed as John Doe in the suit) intervened and threatened Strother's client physically.
Strother has a fairly dramatic writing style, so we will give you his next statement of fact verbatim: "While walking away, it occurred to [his client that] without his keys, his problems was not limited to having no transportation; he realized that he did not have a key to his residence either. He turned back around. That was the last thing he remembered before regaining consciousness in an ambulance."
The suit goes on to claim that the bouncer surprised the plaintiff with a flying tackle that propelled his head into a wall at high velocity. The suit claims that the plaintiff was knocked unconscious, that his scalp was split open and that enough blood gushed from the wound to form pools on the ground. Strother's client was taken to Memorial Hermann hospital where his gash was stapled shut.
According to the suit, the wound has caused the man "incredible pain" and frequent headaches. He claims that he cannot bite down hard on food, and that he has been permanently disfigured "by the bad acts of the nightclub's bouncer," because hair will not grow back over the scar on his head.
John Doe is named in the suit, "until such time as plaintiff learns his true identity." Also named, as in the other suit, is GWV Kirby, LLC, the company that owns Roak. Strother's suit claims that it is liable for the bouncer's actions.
Strother's suit also alleges assault and battery, negligence and vicarious responsibility and seeks the repayment of his client's lost wages, his medical expenses, his lost wages, his loss of earning capacity, and mental, physical and exemplary damages.
Roak has yet to file a response.