Gay couple awarded $31K in assault case

Gay couple awarded $31K in assault case

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A New Jersey judge last week said a South Jersey bar is responsible for $31,000 in damages to a gay couple who claim the bar is liable for an assault they were subjected to three years ago.

During a Jan. 29 proof hearing, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Michael J. Kassel allotted $25,000 to David Monaco and $6,000 to Florin Nikollaj.

In May 2015, two patrons who allegedly made derogatory comments about their sexual orientation assaulted the men inside King Street Pub. The following year, the victims sued the Gloucester City-based bar.

One of the assailants told the bar manager he was “going to fuck with those fags,” according to the suit. “The bar manager, rather than taking any action to prevent that conduct, did absolutely nothing,” according to the civil suit.

Bar owner Stanley J. Bond didn’t attend the Jan. 29 hearing and subsequently told PGN he won’t give any money to the plaintiffs.

“I’d throw it in the river first before I gave them a nickel,” Bond said. “It’s an ambulance-chasing deal. I’d have no problem if it were a valid suit. But they’re not getting anything.”

Bond also dismissed the possibility of an out-of-court settlement.

“There’s nothing to work out,” he said.

Bond reiterated his opinion that the couple’s lawsuit is “frivolous,” adding that he and his wife tried to assist them shortly after the incident.

Bond also emphasized that the LGBT community is welcome at his bar.

“They’ll be treated like royalty and they will be protected,” he said. “This was a highly isolated incident.”

Deborah L. Mains, an attorney for the plaintiffs, issued the following statement: “The suit is not frivolous and plaintiffs have obtained a verdict from the Superior Court. Once final judgment has been entered, appropriate collection action will commence.”

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