Greek Suit Grey Area

A lawsuit filed by a woman claiming she was attacked by a drunken patron during a Kenny G performance at Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre in 2005 has made its way to court.

While attending Wavefest featuring Kenny G and David Benoit at the Greek in October 2005, Merridy Cress and her fiancée claim they had to deal with a pretty big annoyance – a noisy, apparently intoxicated fellow concertgoer.

According to documents obtained by the Daily Breeze, Cress filed suit against the venue citing negligence and premises liability for employing what she called a poorly trained staff that allowed her alleged assailant, Marsha Cooper, to remain at the show despite multiple complaints from other patrons.

Things got so bad that Cress and her fiancée decided to walk out during the middle of Kenny G’s set, with Cress’ fiancée urging venue staff to make the woman leave.

“After approximately a minute after I heard Richard yelling, ‘Restrain her,’ Cooper punched me in the left temple,” Cress stated in the court documents. “This caused me to fall onto the floor at which time Cooper started kicking me.”

However, during court proceedings, Nederlander-Greek Inc. lawyer Howard Slavin had a different account of what happened during the show, the Daily Breeze reported.

Slavin denied Cress’ claims that the venue was negligent and told the court that venue management had not been notified of the patrons’ complaints until it was too late.

He also suggested there may have been a racial element in the leadup to the incident, the paper said, adding that there is evidence that Cress, who is white, used a racial slur during her confrontation with Cooper, who is black.