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Restaurant server alleged drunk patron sexually assaulted her
Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas
arm; back-nerve impingement; neck-nerve impingement; neck-bulging disc, cervical;
other-massage therapy; other-physical therapy; other-cortisone injections; shoulder-rotator cuff, injury (tear);
neurological-brachial plexus; neurological-nerve impingement; neurological-radicular pain / radiculitis
Intentional Torts – Assault and Battery, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
Kristin Lisi v. Scarpetta Philadelphia d/b/a LDV Hospitality and Gregory Englesbe,
June 20, 2018
Kristin Lisi (Female, 51 Years)
Dion G. Rassias;
The Beasley Firm, LLC;
Kristin Lisi ■ Jill Johnston;
The Beasley Firm, LLC;
David J. Khawam;
Law Offices of David J. Khawam;
Gregory Englesbe ■ None reported;
Scarpetta Philadelphia ■ Glen R. Morris;
Glen R. Morris, Esquire;
On Oct. 7, 2016, plaintiff Kristin Lisi, 51, a restaurant server, was grabbed and forcibly kissed by a patron while working at the Scarpetta Italian restaurant, in Philadelphia. Lisi asserted that she had been walking past the men’s room when the patron, Gregory Englesbe, said, “You’ve been walking by me all night, and I want a kiss.” Englesbe grabbed her by the back of the neck, spun her around, dipped her and kissed her. Two unidentified men had been standing with Englesbe at the time. The one man also attempted to kiss Lisi. She was able to break free and inform restaurant management. The police were contacted, but Englesbe was not criminally charged. Lisi claimed injuries to her neck and left shoulder. Lisi sued Englesbe, alleging assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence. She also sued the restaurant, which was dismissed, prior to trial. At trial, Lisi recounted the incident. She stated that she did not know Englesbe and had no interaction with him during that evening leading up to the incident. The restaurant’s surveillance video was shown to the jury. In the video, one of the unidentified males, prior to the assault, can be seen unzipping his pants in the hallway when he was tapped in the crotch by Englesbe. Lisi’s counsel pointed out that Englesbe is six-feet, four-inches tall and 250 pounds, while Lisi is about five-feet, two-inches tall. Englesbe said that he was sorry for kissing Lisi and that he should not have done so. He attributed his conduct being inebriated.
Two days after the incident, Lisi presented to her primary care physician with complaints of pain to her neck and left shoulder. She was referred to an orthopedic surgeon, who, after MRIs and EMGs, diagnosed bulging at cervical intervertebral disc C5-6, a tear at the rotator-cuff of the left shoulder and an injury to the brachial plexus, a group of nerves at the neck, which was causing pain to radiate throughout her left arm. For the next year, Lisi treated with physical therapy, which consisted of exercise and massage, and had a series of cortisone injections for shoulder pain. No further treatment was rendered. Lisis’ orthopedic surgeon causally related her injuries and treatment to the incident, and rated her prognosis as guarded. Lisi testified that she continues to experience pain to her neck and left shoulder, and left-arm radicular pain. She is unable to lift more than about five pounds. Lisi sought damages for past and future pain and suffering. She also sought punitive damages, arguing that Englesbe’s conduct was willful. Her counsel noted that Englesbe had a wealthy lifestyle, which included three homes, a fleet of exotic cars, and membership at Palm Beach’s Mar-a-Lago resort. Englesbe testified that he had recently put his home in Haddonfield, N.J., on the market for approximately $3 million. His counsel maintained that any injuries Lisi had suffered were soft-tissue in nature and had resolved within weeks of the incident.
The jury found that Englesbe was liable on all of Lisi’s legal claims and awarded her damages of $3 million, of which $2.4 million was punitive.
Kristin Lisi: $2,400,000 Personal Injury: Punitive Exemplary Damages; $600,000 Personal Injury: compensatory damages
Sean F. Kennedy
This report is based on information that was provided by plaintiff’s counsel. Englesbe’s counsel declined to contribute, and Scarpetta Philadelphia’s counsel was not asked to contribute.