Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

A jury on Wednesday awarded more than $90,000 to a Torrance couple attacked by other guests at Alpine Village during the 2010 Oktoberfest celebration, but the panel assigned only a small portion of responsibility to the entertainment and shopping destination.

The Los Angeles Superior Court jury of 11 women and one man awarded $54,200 to Amie Baruth and $39,100 to her husband, William Baruth.

But the panel also found that although Alpine Village was negligent regarding its security, the people who attacked the Baruths on Sept. 10, 2010, should pay 90 percent or more of the damages. None of the attackers were identified or named in the lawsuit.

Amie Baruth placed one hand on one of her husband’s hands as the couple listened to the verdict. The Baruths’ attorney, Michael Sisson, said he was disappointed with the outcome.

In emotional testimony last week, Amie Baruth said her husband was restrained and handcuffed by security guards for no reason after they were attacked.

“It’s hard sometimes sleeping at night,” she said. “A couple of times a month, I have nightmares of my husband and I being attacked and getting no help.”

The Baruths filed a negligence lawsuit in June 2012 against Alpine Village, which is located near Torrance and holds an annual Oktoberfest. Its website bills the location as a “little slice of Bavaria in sunny Southern California.”

The Baruths and Amie Baruth’s sister, Melissa Williams, were among a group of friends and family members who visited Alpine Village to experience Oktoberfest. The night was uneventful until about 11 p.m., when a man and a woman began looking at them in a menacing way, the suit says.

After the Baruths and their party had walked about 20 feet, the couple was pushed from behind by some of the people following them, according to their court papers.

In a sworn declaration, Williams said she witnessed her sister being hit with a beer glass shaped as a boot that was sold in Alpine Village at the time for about $11.

“I observed the threatening female smash a beer boot in Amie’s face, knocking out several teeth, severely cutting her lip and causing much bleeding,” Williams said. “The security guards were present during both attacks, but did nothing to intervene or prevent them.”

Her brother-in-law was pushed to the ground by about four assailants, according to Williams, who said he was then handcuffed by security guards who allowed the attackers to flee.

City News Service

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *