Doyle Dennis LLP recently filed suit on behalf of a sexual assault survivor (“John Doe”). The lawsuit was filed against Defendants Bradley Cope, United Rentals, Inc., and Corwell Enterprises Inc. d/b/a WXYZ Lounge. John Doe worked at Aloft Hotel in Corpus Christi. The lawsuit alleges that John Doe was sexually assaulted multiple times because of the defendants’ acts and/or omissions. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges the following:
In 2022, United Rentals instructed its employee, Bradley Cope, to travel from California to Corpus Christi, Texas for a work trip. During this period, United Rentals paid for Cope’s and other United Rentals employees’ lodging at Aloft Corpus Christi (the “Hotel”) for several days. While staying at the Hotel on a work trip, Cope became belligerently drunk on multiple occasions, according to the lawsuit. On multiple occasions, Cope was unable to hold his head up while drinking at the bar. Over the course of days, Cope’s conduct became so aggressive and outrageous that several hotel guests complained about Bradley Cope to the Hotel staff, including to John Doe. United Rentals, through its other agents and employees at the hotel, witnessed and saw Mr. Cope’s aggressive conduct prior to the assault. Despite Bradley Cope’s level of intoxication, Defendants United Rentals and WXYZ Lounge failed to take any action. Unfortunately, United Rentals and WXYZ Lounge’s failure to take any action against Bradley Cope resulted in Cope sexually harassing and sexually assaulting John Doe, who was employed at the Hotel as a Front Desk Associate.
The lawsuit further alleges that while Bradley Cope was staying at the Hotel during the work trip, Cope was belligerently drunk and unruly in the Hotel lobby and in the dining area of the Hotel. Indeed, several hotel guests had complained to John Doe and other hotel staff about Bradley Cope. John Doe repeatedly asked Bradley Cope to return to his room. However, Cope refused. Moreover, Cope was also so intoxicated that he was unable to stand up. Although United Rentals’ other employees were present and observed Cope’s extreme level of intoxication, again Defendants took no action. United Rentals did not intervene. Put differently, United Rentals failed to supervise Bradley Cope while Cope was working in Corpus Christi on behalf of United Rentals.
One night, while John Doe was trying to get Bradley Cope to leave the common areas of the Hotel, Bradley Cope sexually assaulted John Doe again. The lawsuit alleges that Cope sexually assaulted John Doe while in the middle of the hotel lobby and in the dining area. John Doe, a hard-working employee who was on the job and scared of losing his employment and further alarming any of the Hotel guests, again asked Bradley Cope to return to his room. But Bradley Cope again refused to leave. Although Bradley Cope had created a significant disturbance in the Hotel lobby and in the dining area of the Hotel, the Hotel’s other employees, including security personnel, did not intervene. Left with no other options, and in an attempt to protect the Hotel’s other guests, John Doe felt obliged to escort Bradley Cope to his room due to his extremely intoxicated state and apparent inability to physically walk to his room. The lawsuit alleges that when John Doe and Bradley Cope arrived in Bradley Cope’s room, Bradley Cope raped John Doe.
At the time of the occurrence in question, Defendant Corwell Enterprises Inc. d/b/a WXYZ Lounge was a provider of alcohol under the authority of a license or permit issued by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. John Doe has alleged that WXYZ Lounge had a statutory duty to refrain from serving alcohol to obviously intoxicated patrons. The lawsuit alleges that WXYZ Lounge violated Texas law by providing, under authority of a license, alcoholic beverages to Bradley Cope, who was WXYZ Lounge’s customer and guest, when it was apparent or should have been apparent to the WXYZ Lounge, that Cope was obviously intoxicated to the extent that he presented a clear danger to himself and others. WXYZ Lounge was negligent because it sold and served alcoholic beverages to Bradley Cope when they knew or reasonably should have known that he was under the influence of intoxicating alcohol. WXYZ Lounge also failed to provide reasonable education, policies, and/or training to employees, agents, servants, and/or representatives regarding the serving of alcoholic beverages to patrons, including Bradley Cope; provided and/or encouraging policies and/or an atmosphere that caused, created, or contributed to a pattern and/or practice among employees, agents, servants, and/or representatives that unreasonably encouraged the excessive and unsafe serving of alcoholic beverages to patrons, including Bradley Cope.
The lawsuit states that Defendant Bradley Cope is liable to John Doe for sexual assault and battery under the Texas penal code. Bradley Cope intentionally, knowingly, and/or recklessly caused bodily injury to John Doe when he sexually assaulted John Doe. According to the lawsuit, Defendant Bradley Cope is liable to John Doe for assault and battery because he intentionally, knowingly, and/or recklessly caused bodily injury to John Doe when he assaulted John Doe.
John Doe has also sued United Rentals, Inc. negligence, negligent per se, and gross negligence for the following reasons: failing to properly train its employees and/or agents, including Bradley Cope; failing to supervise their employees and/or agents, including Bradley Cope; failing to hire qualified and adequately trained employees and/or agents its employees, including Bradley Cope; failing to properly screen and/or background check its employees, including Bradley Cope; failing to create and/or enforce adequate safety policies and procedures for employees; failing to take action to prevent the Incident; and other acts deemed negligent and grossly negligent. Bradley Cope was under the supervision and control of United Rentals. The lawsuit alleges that while Bradley Cope was conducting work on behalf of United Rentals, Cope sexually assaulted John Doe. In all, United Rentals is directly liable for its own negligence, which is separate and distinct from the causes of action against Bradley Cope.
John Doe has been forced to seek medical treatment to repair the damage Defendants’ conduct caused John Doe. John Doe suffered – and continues to suffer – irreparable mental anguish due to Defendants’ acts and omissions.
Doyle Dennis LLP is a nationally-recognized team of trial lawyers. Our firm is proud to hold negligent parties accountable. If you or a loved one have suffered due to a company’s negligence, Doyle Dennis LLP will provide a free evaluation of your legal claims.