First Snooki got the boot from Space, and now this?
New Jersey couple Joseph and Anna Burgese are suing the swanky W South Beach after Anna was assaulted in the hotel's lobby. The Burgeses say at least one alleged prostitute working the bar apparently mistook Anna for competition -- and attacked her in a drunken turf war.
The lawsuit claims that not only does the W foster "a prostitute-friendly environment," but that hotel employees actually helped the assailants flee the scene by placing them in cabs.
"The Burgeses want justice, they want [the alleged attackers] caught and prosecuted," the couple's attorney Lance Rogers told the Philadelphia Daily News. "The hotel has done absolutely nothing to help them and, in fact, has stood in the way of the process."
According to the Daily News, the Burgeses were regular guests at the W, staying so often they kept a car in Miami Beach. But the lawsuit says things went awry in the wee hours of January 19 as the couple walked through the hotel lobby.
"Anna Burgese was the subject of a completely unprovoked, sudden and brutal attack by an unknown number of defendants...[she] was grabbed from behind and thrown with great force into a stone wall head-first. [She] was also tackled to the ground and struck by her assailant," reads the filed complaint.
The police report from the incident mentions one suspect: "[Victim] states [suspect] must have thought she had said something to her but insists she did not."
After Joseph fended off the attacker with crutches, Anna was transported by ambulance to Mt. Sinai, where she was treated for trauma to her face and to her knee, Rogers told the Daily News.
Meanwhile, according to the lawsuit, Joseph had asked a hotel staff member to detain the brawling hookers. He also claims W employees told him they knew the identity of the women -- but soon found out the assailants were not only gone, but that hotel staff had helped them into cabs.
"Later, the hotel staff claimed ignorance as to the identity of the attackers," according to the lawsuit, which accuses the W of ignoring a prostitution problem that has led to violence before. "...Prostitutes are permitted to market themselves on the premises, as evidenced by, among other things, the reviews left on various travel websites by former guests."
The Burgeses have been unable to obtain surveillance video of the incident and accuse the hotel of being "evasive and completely unresponsive."
"We truly regret that this incident occurred and that one of our guests was injured," said a statement emailed to The Huffington Post from Starwood Hotels, which owns the W. "Because of the pending litigation, we are unable to comment further at this time."
Court records show the lawsuit has been referred to arbitration.
This post has been updated with information from the police report. H/T: Courthouse News