Family of Musician File Suit Against Club

Family of Musician File Suit Against Club

A negligence lawsuit has been filed against a New Orleans dance club by the family of the late jazzman, Hilton Ruiz, alleging that he was beaten at the club and bouncers failed to protect or help him.

Ruiz, 54, was a respected jazz pianist and composer in New Orleans filming a video for a benefit recording for Hurricane Katrina victims. According to the suit, Ruiz fell in front of the Bourbon Street Club Utopia after being attacked by several people inside the club. Allegedly, security workers “failed to intervene in any meaningful fashion,” and neglected to call an ambulance.

The suit claims that bouncers threw Ruiz out of the club and “abandoned” him even though it was evident that he was in an unstable condition and couldn’t make his way to safety.

Ruiz was taken to the hospital and died June 6, two-and-a-half weeks after the incident. Ruiz never regained consciousness.

Utopia manager Fred Woodruff denies the negligence accusations claiming the club has “no knowledge of that whatsoever.”

An investigation into the incident is currently being conducted. Plaintiff attorney Scott Galante urges witnesses to come forward with any information about Ruiz’s death.

The negligence lawsuit, filed by Ruiz’s daughter Aida Ruiz, is seeking unspecified damages.

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