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Seacrets reaches settlement with patron in trip-and-fall case

A settlement has been reached between an Ocean City bar and a Pennsylvania man who sued for injuries he allegedly sustained by tripping over equipment on the stage in 2011.



Lester M. Bender sough more than $5 million in damages from Seacrets and Michael Beatty, also known as DJ Batman, according to a complaint filed last year in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

A settlement order was issued Monday dismissing the action after the parties informed Magistrate Judge J. Mark Coulson the claims had been settled, according to electronic court files.

Bender’s attorney, Stephen M. Gensemer of Ashcraft & Gerel LLP in Rockville, was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

Jason Sean Garber, Seacrets’ lawyer, confirmed Wednesday a settlement had been reached but could not comment further. Garber is with Moore & Jackson LLC in Towson.

According to a motion for summary judgment filed by Seacrets, Bender along with his wife and friends visited Seacrets during an annual Pittsburgh Steelers fan club trip to Ocean City for St. Patrick’s Day.

Bender was with a friend on the dance floor when they ducked under a rope and walked onto the stage, where Beatty was acting as DJ, according to the motion. Bender’s opposition to summary judgment alleges Beatty pointed at Bender and his friend and invited them on stage; the motion by Seacrets denies Bender had permission.

After a couple of minutes of dancing, Bender began to walk off the stage but tripped over a floor monitor, according to court records.

An emergency room report attached as an exhibit summarized the incident by saying, “[Bender] sustained a fall while dancing an Irish jig [in] full Irish regalia.” X-rays revealed a broken leg, according to the report.

Seacrets asserted several defenses in its motion for summary judgment, including assumption of the risk, contributory negligence and lack of duty owed to Bender once he went on stage without permission. Beatty’s motion put forth similar defenses.

Christopher R. Dunn, a lawyer for Beatty, was unavailable for comment Wednesday. Dunn is a partner with DeCaro, Doran, Siciliano, Gallagher and DeBlasis LLP in Bowie.

The case is Lester M. Bender, et al., v. O.C. Seacrets Inc., et al., 1:14-cv-00690-JMC.