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August 13, 2010

Facing lawsuit, Ottobar holds benefit

The Ottobar is holding a benefit show tomorrow to raise money for a lawsuit filed by an injured patron, according to club co-owner Michael Bowen.

The patron, who was struck in the head about two years ago when a club-goer dove off the stage into the crowd, has since recovered from her injuries but is seeking $30,000 to pay for medical bills and time missed from work, Bowen said. At Bowen's request, the plaintiff's name is being withheld from this article.

"I would like to see this young lady get compensated," Bowen said. "I don't have any beef with this woman pursuing the time she missed from work and some of her medial bills. I'm happy she's healthy and fine."...

The Ottobar's insurance company, United America Insurance Group, declared the case "assault and battery" and has refused to pay the fees or settle, Bowen said.

"I'm really annoyed with our insurance company," Bowen said. "It's like, 'God, how can you people live with yourselves?'"

Though the Ottobar has been reeling from the down economy, it's not going out of business anytime soon, Bowen said. He hopes tomorrow's benefit show will raise a few thousand dollars to help offset the costs of the lawsuit. For information about the show, go here.


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Posted by Sam Sessa at 12:31 PM | | Comments (19)
Categories: Bars & Clubs, Local music, News
        

Comments

Wow-- what a remarkable attitude for Bowen to have. He sounds like a great guy. Those of us that came up before the current crop of warehouse spaces and art galleries know what a debt the Baltimore underground owes to the Ottobar.

Thanks for giving the details of the situation, as I'd only heard the rumors. I'm glad to hear that Bowen isn't blaming the victim. Though maybe they should try to raise the $30k for her medical bills rather than money for the lawsuit. I wonder where the "club-goer" who dove off the stage like an asshole is in this story--no responsibility there???

I am very pleased with the attitude of the owner but very displeased the young woman took the lawsuit against the wrong person. Why didn't she sue the person who jumped off the stage and ultimitely injured her? I hope the benefit helps to raise more than enough money to cover this lawsuit.

Baltimore needs more club owmers like Bowen. He is one of the reason the Ottobar will be around for a long time.

She should just sue Jason Zink.

Well, she *was* struck in the head and was injured severly enough that she piled up $30K worth of lost wages and medical expenses... perhaps she never really saw who hit her, and the person that did get her perhaps fled the scene promptly. She may have filed the suit because her own insurance company wouldn't pay her claims, and needing recourse filed against Ottobar in a nothing-personal hope of getting their insurer to pay for it instead.

Now I understand all the "No Stagediving" signs at the Chameleons Vox show the other night. Nobody from the club was mentioning specifics for the show either... had I known I would have picked have ticket.. Good for Bowen bad for United America Insurance Group.. they should share it with the http://consumerist.com/ they could offer some advice on getting the insurance company to do what it's supposed to do.

@Anonymous- I have enough legal fees and pending lawsuits on my plate already. Thanks though.

im sure she could sue the stagediver, however i doubt she would get anything, the bar on the other hand...

You're supposed to catch them with your hands and arms.

I just love Insurance companies. My dad paid his life insurance on time for 40 years, but when he died they took literally months to provide for my mother. They love to take money but hate like hell to pay it out.

Allegedly assaulting police officers does get very expensive.

File a complaint with the MD Insurance Commissioner - you have a wrongful coverage denial by United.

Ottobar is right by Sweet Sin, which finally got its liquor license on Thursday. I wonder what their owners will do after the first gluten-free cupcake and cuervo fueled stage diving incident?

Oh cool, I didn't realize the benefit was connected with the cutting-edge fashion and arts magazine Gutter.

Can we make a donation somewhere? I can't get to the show but would be happy to contribute to the legal fund considering all great shows The Ottobar has hosted for DMFS over the years.

@Ryan -- I knew that earlier, you could have made a donation through Mission Tix. I'll call Mike Bowen today and see if that's still an option.

Awesome. Thanks, Sam!

I would have sued the stage diver. If he had a bike, I would have sued for that too.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at erik.maza@baltsun.com. Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.
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