A Philadelphia jury awarded a waitress $3million after she suffered an injury when a drunk diner forcibly kissed her nearly two years ago.
Security footage inside Scarpetta restaurant in Rittenhouse Square showed Gregory Englesbe assaulting Kristin Lisi on the night of October 7, 2016.
According to the lawsuit, the South Jersey mortgage bank executive had been drinking and dining with a group at the upscale restaurant for several hours. At one point, they became so loud that they had to be transferred to a private dining room.
Around 10pm, Lisi came face to face with Englesbe and two other men, as she was walking down a hallway at the upscale restaurant.
‘You’ve been walking by me all night, and I want a kiss,’ Englesbe told Lisi, grabbing her, spinning her around and then forcibly kissing her.
‘Incredibly, immediately before [Englesbe] grabbed the plaintiff by the throat, he was in the hallway with John Doe 2, who was actually unzipping his pants in the restaurant hallway when he was smacked by defendant Englesbe, who was heartily laughing, in a “put it away” gesture,’ the court papers add.
Lisi claimed in her lawsuit that the assault caused her to suffer nerve damage from a torn rotator cuff. She provided doctor’s testimony and worker’s compensation documents as evidence during the trial.
Lisi reported the incident to management, who in turn called police – though criminal charges were never filed.
After deliberating for four hours last week, a jury decided to award Lisi $600,000 in compensatory damages and $2.4million in punitive damages.
While Englesbe admitted to kissing Lisi and accepted the blame for harming her – he said he didn’t believe he caused such an extensive injury.
‘The plaintiff’s injuries are either non-existent, exaggerated, and or pre-existing,’ his lawyers said in court documents.
Following the decision last week, Englesbe resigned from the Cherry Hill, New Jersey mortgage firm where he was chief executive, effective Tuesday.
Lisi has since left the restaurant world and has no intention of returning to the industry.