LAS VEGAS — A lawsuit alleging the owners of a Las Vegas Strip nightclub secretly filmed burlesque dancers naked and changing costumes in their dressing room has passed a preliminary legal hurdle allowing it to be heard in court.
The decision by the Nevada Supreme Court last week means that the dispute involving four women does not need to be sent for arbitration, but that claims by two others will go to arbitration.
Las Vegas showgirls Michelle DiTerlizzi, Burgendy Candace Kirtz, Monica Alexandra Klus, Sophia Monica, Megan Herbert and Plamena Mihaylova accuse managers at 1923 Bourbon and Burlesque, a leased venue at Mandalay Bay, of recording video them in their dressing room from April to August 2014.
The lawsuit filed in 2015 names as defendants Fat Hat LLC., doing business as 1923 Bourbon & Burlesque by Holly Madison, and Ice Lounge Las Vegas, where the dancers also performed. Also named in the suit was J.F. Sabes Investment Inc., Robert W. Sabes, Avi Kopelman, Noel Bowman and Robert Frey.
Despite the show’s title as a burlesque, the women never performed topless, court filings said.
The lawsuit seeks damages based on allegations of invasion of privacy, negligence, infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy.
The women were filmed naked and changing costumes without their knowledge or consent, and the videos were streamed to defendants’ computers, the lawsuit claims.
Kopelman, who was the manager of 1923 Bourbon and Burlesque, is accused in the lawsuit of keeping his office door open so any employee could have also seen the dressing room feed.
Kirtz and the show’s stage manager, Andrea Benitez-Moody, found out about the camera after they saw videos of themselves on Kopelman’s office computer, court documents said.
The Sept. 21 Supreme Court decision examined whether the women’s contracts with the venues required arbitration or whether they could be heard in court.
The three-justice panel said DiTerlizzi, Kirtz, Klus and Monica did not specifically authorize arbitration in their employment contracts, but that Herbert and Mihaylova did. The latter two were cocktail waitresses who joined the lawsuit two weeks after it was filed.
Attorneys Joseph Garin and Jessica Green, representing the companies, did not immediately respond Monday to telephone and email messages seeking comment. Green declined comment to the Las Vegas Sun (http://bit.ly/2cycNsD).
Lawyers for the women also did immediately respond to telephone and email messages seeking comment.
Information from: Las Vegas Sun, http://www.lasvegassun.com