Paul Caron, TaxProf, on one of the more closely watched tax rulings. Earlier here.
Quite a lot of tax money is at stake: New York is seeking more than $400,000 in back taxes and penalties from one establishment alone. But the broad construction of artistic expression that judges understandably apply in censorship cases under the First Amendment need not carry over to a less constitutionally fraught area such as the application of tax categories. “Can we get past the idea that somehow this is the Bolshoi?” asked one judge. [Naomi Schaefer Riley, New York Post, quotes me]
A college student is suing a stripper-referral service, saying the assigned dancer engaged in an illegal act of prostitution with him but did not stay the full hour as promised. Proceeding pro se without a lawyer, the student “said he now needs medical treatment for a mental condition related to the incident.” When he complained to Las Vegas police about the incident, he says, they threatened to arrest him. He “said he also told the company he was incapable of making an informed agreement with the stripper because he was drunk at the time.” [Las Vegas Sun]
“Two Houston adult entertainment clubs this week agreed to settle a federal age discrimination case with a former waitress who alleged younger, male managers called her ‘old’ and said she showed symptoms of memory loss. The owners of Centerfolds and Cover Girls agreed to pay $60,000 to Mary Bassi. She was 56 when she was fired in 2006 ‘without provocation or explanation,’ according to a lawsuit the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed on Bassi’s behalf.” [Houston Chronicle; earlier]
In Tampa, the Mons Venus strip club “is being sued for its alleged uninviting nature to people with disabilities.” Kendrick Duldulao, who uses a wheelchair, says there are no suitable ramps, “the hostess stand is too high, and the toilets and jukebox are inaccessible.” [BayNews9.com] More: Radley Balko (“Reached for comment, other Mons Venus patrons replied, ‘There’s a jukebox?’”)
The girl, described as a chronic runaway, got herself a job at the Emperors Gentleman’s Club in Tampa, and now mom wants damages. [WTSP.com]
Patsy Hamaker, who in 2007 had an alcohol-related one-car wreck on the way home from The Furnace (NSFW link, unless you work some place that approves of stripclub websites) and sued her employer over the accident, claiming that the club encouraged her to drink, won $100,000 from a Jefferson County, Alabama, jury, somewhat less than the $1.2 million she sought.
Hamaker, whose stage name was Tessa, went to work at The Furnace on Oct. 17, 2007. She drank enough that night for her blood-alcohol content level to rise to nearly three times the legal limit, was pulled by security from one of the VIP rooms, and then left after at least three attempts to stop her, according to testimony during the trial. Her car wrecked on the interstate, and she suffered a broken nose and back.
The club’s records show a customer bought Hamaker one “dancer drink,” a commission drink or bottle ranging in price from $12 to $2,500. The club did not have a record of other drinks she may have [ordered on her own].
Attorneys for the Furnace pointed out that dancers can specify their preference for non-alcoholic or diluted dancer drinks. And the club’s general manager, Jennifer Etheridge, testified that she does not want dancers getting intoxicated. Asked why, Etheridge said: “You try working with 30 drunk people.”
(Erin Stock, “Former stripper gets $100,000 in lawsuit: Blamed club for drunken wreck”, Birmingham News, Feb. 2) (h/t P.E.).