NJ country club sues waiter who spilled wine on member's luxury purse [Updated]

Photo: artisteer (iStock)

Update, November 13, 2019: In response to the $30,000 lawsuit filed over an accidental wine spill and a pricey handbag, the Alpine Country Club is denying that it was liable for the damage to the plaintiff’s Hermès Kelly bag. Instead, it has filed a cross-claim, suing the waiter involved in the incident in an attempt to pass the buck for any damages awarded in court.

Speaking to NorthJersey.com, plaintiff Maryana Beyder’s attorney Alexandra Errico acknowledged that her client understands that what happened was an accident, and the only reason the waiter was mentioned in the lawsuit—where he was called “John Doe”—was because it’s legally required that all details of the incident be mentioned.

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“The way the story read is that somehow we’re blaming the employee,” Errico said. “We’re not. Not at all… They did not have to sue their own employee. It basically shows that they really are acting in bad faith.”

Original story, November 1, 2019: We can all sympathize with the plight of New Jersey resident Maryana Beyder, who has been put through unspeakable horrors after a waiter at her country club spilled wine on her Hermès handbag in September 2018. Who hasn’t been there? Who wouldn’t file a lawsuit?

NBC News reports Beyder has been trying unsuccessfully for more than a year to reach some sort of resolution with the Alpine Country Club, which her lawyer describes as “uncooperative.” Because the handbag costs as much as a modest automobile, and because the specific light pink color of that bag has been discontinued, and because it holds sentimental value as it was a 30th birthday gift from her husband, Beyder seeks $30,000 in damages.

Her suit alleges a waiter, identified as a complete moron named John Doe, “acted in a negligent manner” and spilled wine all over her and her bag. The club is also on the hook, the lawsuit states, because it failed to properly interview candidates “to confirm their qualifications and determine their appropriateness for their respective positions prior to their hire.” Any country club worth its salt, as you well know, asks its potential servers to juggle wine glasses while also balancing a tray of crudités on their foot. That’s just standard operating procedure.

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Lest you think Beyder is being unreasonable, her attorney tells NBC News that Beyder is aware the spill was an accident, but still expects to be compensated for the damage to her handbag. Completely reasonable.

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About the author

Kate Bernot

Kate Bernot is managing editor at The Takeout and a certified beer judge.