Suspended UBS banker Scott Hapgood sued the five-star resort that owns the Anguilla hotel where he and his family were staying when he encountered employee Kenny Mitchel, whose death he has since been linked to, a spokesperson for the family announced Tuesday.
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Scott Hapgood, his wife, Kallie Hapgood, and their three children between the ages of 11 and 15, filed the strong-worded suit Monday in Marin County, California, Superior Court, against Auberge Resorts LLC. The complaint argues that the five-star California-based hotel chain is “legally responsible” for the allegedly nightmarish trip, which advertises itself as a “dream vacation.”
“According to its marketing, the ‘Auberge way’ in hospitality means ‘unforgettable experiences in storied destinations.’ But to plaintiff Scott Hapgood … the ‘Auberge way’ means something different,” the 24-page lawsuit states. “It means getting attacked at knifepoint by a high, intoxicated 27-year-old hotel employee, being viciously stabbed, clawed, bitten and beaten fearing for his life and his family."
Auberge owns 19 hotels globally, according to its website, and has boasted high-end clientele, including former President Barack Obama and celeb duo Beyonce and Jay-Z, court papers state. A spokesperson for the hotel chain did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.
The Hapgoods have repeatedly said Scott Hapgood, 45, was in their hotel room at the Malliouhana in Anguilla on April 13, 2019, when Mitchel, a 27-year-old maintenance man at the resort, showed up unannounced, demanded money and attacked him. Mitchel died after the struggle, and Scott Hapgood was charged with manslaughter.
Two of the three Hapgood children were with Scott Hapgood at the time.
For Scott and the entire Hapgood family, the Plaintiffs here, Auberge’s ‘dream vacation’ is a nightmare that does not end.
The moments leading up to Mitchel’s death are the subject of an ongoing criminal case. President Trump tweeted about the matter in October.
“Will be looking into the Scott Hapgood case, and the Island of Anguilla,” he wrote. “Something looks and sounds very wrong. I know Anguilla will want to see this case be properly and justly resolved!”
An Anguillan-administered autopsy showed Mitchel died of positional asphyxia and received blunt-force injuries to his torso and other areas. But Hapgood family spokesperson Jamie Diaferia previously said a toxicology report was suppressed and that Mitchel was found to have had drugs, including cocaine, in his system.
After Scott Hapgood neglected to show up to a hearing in Anguilla in November, local authorities issued a warrant for his arrest him, according to a press release published by Anguilla’s attorney general.
Since the fateful April day, Scott Hapgood was suspended from his banking job. Mitchels’ family sued him in December in connection to the death.
But the Hapgoods’ lawsuit alleges Mitchel should never have been working at the hotel in the first place. Mitchel was allegedly arrested and charged with rape two weeks prior to his run-in with Scott Hapgood, court papers state.
“Mitchel, a national of Dominica not Anguilla became ineligible to continue his employment on Anguilla while under criminal charges,” the suit asserts.
The complaint further Mitchel arrived two hours late for his shift at the hotel on April 13 and “disappeared from his assignment for a substantial portion of the workday, reappearing at the Hapgoods’ hotel rooms, drunk and high on cocaine.
“Thus, Auberge let Mitchel – this drunk, high, delinquent, accused-rapist employee – stay in an Auberge uniform and gave him unrestricted access to its guests, including children.”
An attorney for the co-executors of Mitchel’s estate did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request seeking comment regarding the allegations.
Court documents also call Auberge’s response “woefully inadequate” for its delay in providing assistance to Mitchel and the Hapgood family.
“Although this lawsuit cannot end the Hapgoods’ nightmare, it is designed to at least bring them some measure of compensation, to recover their costs incurred, to bring some accountability to Auberge, and to ensure that other Auberge guests are protected in the future,” the complaint reads.
The family is seeking a jury trial and to receive unspecified damages.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.