Jamie Worster-Sims v. Tropicana Entertainment, Providence AC, Inc., Metronome Hospitality Group, et. al.

Plaintiffs Jamie Worster-Sims and Ashlee Sims brought claims against the defendants alleging assault and battery, negligence, negligent hiring, training, and supervision, negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress and punitive damages following plaintiff’s assault by Officer Jones while a patron of the Club Providence nightclub in Atlantic City. Specifically, plaintiff alleged that Providence AC, Inc. and Metronome Hospitality Group failed to provide safe premises to plaintiff by not having a comprehensive plan between Providence, Tropicana, and the Atlantic City Police Department for handling patrons escorted from Providence. Additionally, plaintiff argued that Providence AC, Inc. and Metronome Hospitality Group negligently hired, trained, and supervised Officer Jones while he was serving as a special detail police officer at Club Providence.

As a result of his assault, the 29 plaintiff alleged that he sustained a traumatic brain injury which has precluded him from working again for the remainder of his life. Plaintiff was examined by various experts who all found that he has significant impairment with his processing speed and short-term memory and also suffers from an adjustment disorder and mixed anxiety and depressed mood.

Christopher C. Mauro filed a motion for summary judgment to dismiss all claims against Providence AC, Inc. and Metronome Hospitality Group. Judge Kugler agreed with all of Mr. Mauro’s arguments and concluded that Officer Jones was an independent contractor rather than an employee or agent of defendants. Plaintiff therefore cannot show the existence of a master- servant relationship between Jones and Providence and cannot establish respondeat superior liability. Judge Kugler also held that plaintiff’s claims as to negligent supervision, negligent hiring, failure to train and supervise, and failure to discipline employees fail as a matter of law. The Court dismissed plaintiff’s remaining claims of negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress and his punitive damages claims on the basis that plaintiff has not produced evidence that would allow him to recover. Therefore, plaintiffs’ entire complaint, including all cross-claims, were dismissed as a matter of law as to Providence and Metronome Hospitality Group.