Security company denies wrongdoing in fight that left woman disfigured


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ST. THOMAS - A woman who lost her eye and whose face is permanently scarred after another woman struck her with a beer bottle at a nightclub on St. Thomas is suing the security company that was monitoring the club the night of the incident.

Maria Cavalli filed a civil complaint against Port of Sale, Mojo's Rum and Surf Shack, The Rock Night Club and Lounge and Ashana Powell in February 2012, alleging that each was partially responsible for the serious injuries that Cavalli sustained following a fight the night of March 1, 2010.

Powell was the woman accused of assaulting Cavalli with the bottle.

More than a year later, Cavalli added Interscope Security to the list of defendants.

As of Tuesday, the only defendant going to trial with Cavalli was Interscope Security. Attorneys would not confirm that the other defendants had agreed upon settlements with Cavalli, but as of Tuesday, no other defendants were going to trial.

Interscope continues to deny any wrongdoing, according to replies sent to the District Court regarding to the case, and argues that Cavalli has not met deadlines set for the case.

In Interscope's most recent reply to the court, Interscope calls the plaintiff's claims irrelevant, unsupported and contrary to the evidence.

On March 1, 2010, the date of the fight, Cavalli, her sister and another patron, Rebecca Seybold, were at The Rock when Seybold and Powell got into an argument. Seybold, Cavalli and her sister were leaving the premises and were headed to Mojo's, which is separated from the nightclub by a parking lot in between, according to the initial complaint. Both businesses are under the same ownership and are in the Port of Sale Mall.

Interscope was working security for both businesses.

Cavalli said that Powell followed the three women, and the Rock's security guards, from Interscope, restrained Powell when she tried to start another altercation, according to the initial complaint. The guards knew Powell to be "a belligerent and aggressive person having at least one prior conviction for assault and battery," the complaint said

The security guards released Powell, who then re-engaged in a fight with Seybold, and another altercation ensued in the parking area between The Rock and Mojo's, the complaint said. Cavalli said that Powell remained on the property of Port of Sale, which had its own security personnel.

Powell picked up an empty beer bottle from a nearby trash can then and walked toward Cavalli, her sister and Seybold and tried to attack Cavalli's sister and Seybold, the complaint said.

Powell then turned to Cavalli, who had just bent down to pick up a pair of sunglasses, and smashed the bottle on Cavalli's face, cutting Cavalli's eye, face and arm, according to the complaint.

"As a result of this attack, plaintiff lost her left eye, sustained multiple fractures to her nose, and lacerations to her face and right forearm, resulting in severe disfigurement and scarring," the complaint said.

In the complaint, Interscope security guards intervened, though they did not remove Powell from the Port of Sale property, which they said was not their role.

"While it is admitted that Interscope was contracted to provide security services for Mojo's and The Rock, it was solely for those premises," the reply from the defense said.

It is unclear what stance the remaining defendants have taken in the case, as no settlement documents have been posted to PACER, an online court records system.

However, the case against Interscope is expected to go to trial June 2 in federal court, according to PACER.

- Contact Jenny Kane at 714-9102 or email jkane@dailynews.vi.

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