For the second time in six years, a Wrongful Death trial has been postponed just days before it was scheduled to start.
The trial is based on a lawsuit filed by Camille Fau, the widow of a man found beaten to death next to railroad tracks behind the Crazy Horse Too topless bar on Aug. 4, 1995.
The lawsuit filed through attorney Randall Pike claims the club at 2476 Industrial Road permitted its employees to beat Scott David Fau to death after he was ejected.
At a pretrial conference Wednesday, March 13, defense attorneys told Judge Nancy M. Siatta that because of health reasons, a key witness for the defense, Clark County Medical Examiner Sheldon Green, would not be available to testify at the trial that was set to begin Monday, March 18.
Judge Siatta vacated the trial date indefinitely.
This was not the first time in the protracted history of the Fau case that a trial has been delayed. A jury trial was scheduled for June 18 of last year in Judge Saitta's court, but two weeks before trial; attorneys for the Crazy Horse made a Motion for Summary Judgment. On July 7, Judge Saitta granted the Motion and dismissed Fau's lawsuit based on a claim that Fau died of injuries caused by his falling from a moving train - not from injuries resulting from a beating.
Fau's attorneys immediately made a Motion for Reconsideration stating that new evidence existed. Judge Saitta agreed to look at the new evidence including independent medical examiner's reports indicating that if Fau died because of injuries resulting from him falling from a moving train, he would have abrasions from sliding across the ground, but that no abrasions were found on his body.
Based on "newly postured evidence provided," a new trial was scheduled for March 18, 2002.
On October 17, 2001, Crazy Horse Too owner Frederick "Rick" Rizzolo informed the Las Vegas Tribune, "The coroner (Sheldon Green) who examined Mr. Fau's body could not determine the cause of death but completely ruled out that Mr. Fau was beaten to death or that his death was caused by an altercation."
However, Rizzolo did describe an altercation between Fau and his club personnel: "Mr. Fau, with his friend, had come into the Crazy Horse Too in an inebriated state and threatened and harassed my bartender, When my employees were attempting to eject Mr. Fau, who was at least six feet tall and weighed 300 pounds, from the club, Mr. Fau took off his belt, wrapped it around his hand, and struck one or more of my employees, injuring them. Two of my employees eventually had to go to the hospital for those injuries. The police had to be called in and it was the police who ejected Mr. Fau and his friend from the premises and saw these two people walk southwards away from the club. At least three hours had elapsed before Mr. Fau's body was found on the train tracks far from Crazy Horse Too."
The medical examiners hired by the Fau family state that Fau's death was caused by "Blunt force trauma."
Dan Kennedy, who claimed to be an eyewitness to Fauís death, made a taped statement to an investigator vividly describing the alleged beating. However, without explanation, Kennedy later recanted his statement in a notarized affidavit Rizzolo personally distributed to reporters.
The victim's wife, Camille and his two daughters, Nicole and Francesca, are seeking unspecified general and punitive damages from the Crazy Horse Too.
At Wednesday's pretrial conference, Judge Siatta took no action on a number of motions made by the defense. One of the motions was to prohibit testimony regarding a September 20, 2001, incident involving Kansas resident Kirk Henry.
Henry claimed that he had been ejected from the bar for allegedly not paying an eighty-eight dollar bar tab. He then said that two bar employees beat him and took all his cash with the exception of one dollar. One of the bouncers reportedly snapped Henry's neck causing his spinal cord to sever resulting in paralysis from the neck down. Henry, through his attorney Donald Campbell, has filed a lawsuit against the Crazy Horse Too. The case is assigned to District Judge Jeffery Sobel. A trial date has not yet been set.
Another motion was made to prohibit the jury from hearing the taped transcript of Dan Kennedy.
It is estimated that the Fau Wrongful Death trial will now be delayed until some time in 2003.
Judge Saitta is currently running for reelection.
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