Did the owner of Scandals, Ken Kelley, know that his bar was being sued for tens of thousands of dollars? According to what he told SFGN last week, yes he did. But that’s not the same story he and his lawyer have been telling in court.
“At the time of the incident in 2011, The Stable, which ceased operations August 1, 2015, contacted local authorities and Broward County Sheriff's deputies responded. After their investigation, they determined the allegations by Dinsmore were not warranted and no further action was taken on their part,” Kelley wrote in an email to SFGN. “Dinsmore proceeded with a lawsuit against The Stable. Along with Broward County Sherriff's deputies, I determined the incident was a non-issue and elected to not defend the case. End of story."
Come to find out that isn’t the end of the story by a long shot.
While Kelley insisted this is a “non-issue,” it turns out, according to documents filed last month, it’s a big issue.
In December a jury awarded $39,787 to Jeffrey Dinsmore, a patron at the now closed Stable Bar in Oakland Park, which was owned by Scandals.
Because Kelley did not defend against the lawsuit the plaintiff, Dinsmore, automatically won.
Now Kelley is telling the court he had no knowledge of the lawsuit and wasn’t properly notified, a story that is decidedly different than the one he told SFGN.
In the case, Dinsmore had alleged he was injured in 2011, when Ray Alley, a bouncer in the bar, violently threw him to the ground causing a concussion. Due to his injuries Dinsmore was out of work for over three months.
Lawyers for both sides went back and forth until early last year, when Kelley’s law firm asked to withdraw, claiming they had “irreconcilable differences” with the Scandal’s owner. The court ordered Kelley to find new counsel.
When Kelley failed to comply with the judicial directive, Judge Rodriguez-Powell entered a default judgment against Scandals on the merits of the claim. A jury was then called to determine damages. It reached its verdict on Nov. 5.
Kelley was then subpoenaed in for post trial depositions filed by the plaintiff in December to try to collect on the judgment.
Now he’s in court desperately trying to overturn the verdict.
His lawyers argued in a ten-page memorandum that he had no knowledge that his pleadings on the case were being struck. They also argued the plaintiff’s lawyer failed to notify them about a required mediation conference, and that “it was the defendant’s intention to attend a mediation conference in an attempt to resolve the case,” and the plaintiff “did not contact by any means of communication Kenneth Kelley, to discuss any of the issues raised.”
But that’s not what Kelley told SFGN. As mentioned above he wrote, “I determined the incident was a non-issue and elected to not defend the case.”
Editor’s Note: In last week’s edition, SFGN inadvertently published a picture of a Scandals bartender, instead of Ken Kelley. We apologize for the error.