By IZZY KAPNICK
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (CN) – A disabled woman claims in court the manager of a South Florida bar yanked her mobility scooter away from her and kicked her out of the pub after telling her she would spread her disease to other customers.
In a lawsuit in Broward County court, Angela Culp claims bar manager Cody Cole taunted her about her disabilities, commandeered her mobility scooter and then “physically forced her” out onto the streets, leaving her in tears and “with no way to get home.”
Culp says the incident happened in June 2015, at the A1A Dive Bar in Fort Lauderdale.
It began when Cole “emerged from behind the bar” and started “to ask Culp what was wrong with her,” according to the lawsuit.
“Cody Cole began making disparaging, false and malicious statement about Ms. Culp, including, but not limited to stating that she was contagious and would kill the other patrons in the bar,” the Nov. 16 complaint alleges.
According to the complaint, Culp, who suffered a brain injury from mosquito-borne encephalitis, explained that her condition was not contagious.
Yet Cole “became enraged” and began “screaming profanities at her,” while demanding that she leave the bar, the lawsuit alleges.
Culp says that in an effort to avoid further embarrassment, she tried to exit the bar using her mobility scooter, but Cole “forcefully grabbed [her] wrist and yanked the scooter away.”
“Cody Cole refused to allow Ms. Culp to leave with her scooter and instead demanded that Ms. Culp, who was visibly distraught and crying, exit the establishment on foot,” the lawsuit reads.
Culp is seeking damages for slander, assault, trespass to chattels, conversion and intentional infliction of emotional distress, with an alternate count for negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Marcole LLC dba The Dive Bar is named as a defendant under a vicarious liability count.
Culp is represented by Robert Bouchard at Fowler White’s Miami office.
Cole has not responded to requests for comment.
The Dive Bar’s review page on Yelp.com contains several positive reviews, but is peppered with commenters claiming Cole acted inappropriately around them.