Club sued for man's death

November 12, 2008 5:26:06 AM PST
A local mother is suing a gentleman's club for what she claims it makes employees do while on the job. The mother says that policy took her son's life.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

It's been a hard 11 months for Mattie Jean Johnson.

"It's hard to hold your head up when you lost your child," she said.

That's how long it's been since her son Clinton Washington was killed. It was early New Year's Eve morning. Investigators say the taxi driver had stopped to help another motorist on the North Freeway. As Washington was walking along the road, he was hit. He was just doing a good deed. His mother says it was his nature.

"He helps people everywhere he goes," Johnson recalled.

The woman driving the vehicle that struck Washington was Micaela Liem. She's charged in his death. The police report shows she was intoxicated. But the story doesn't end there.

Johnson's attorney says at the time of the accident Liem was an exotic dancer for Rick's Cabaret and according to a lawsuit he's filed, she was encouraged to drink alcohol with Rick's customers so that the nightclub would make more money. Therefore, attorney Hank Stout says, Rick's is also responsible for Washington's death.

"They have a responsibility, not only to the dancer, but to the general public to make sure if someone is going to get intoxicated at their club, they make it home safely and they don't hurt themselves or someone else," Stout explained.

In response, Rick's sent an email: "We have and will have no comment on pending litigation."

Johnson hopes the lawsuit prevents more suffering.

"Just like they're hiring them to dance, they can hire someone to take them to their destination," she said.

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