(The New York Times) – A Connecticut man charged with killing a hotel worker he says attacked his family on the Caribbean island of Anguilla has filed a negligence lawsuit against the resort company that operates the hotel.
A spokeswoman for Scott Hapgood, of Darien, said the lawsuit against Auberge Resorts was filed Monday in a California court in Marin County, where the company is based in Mill Valley. He is seeking undisclosed damages.
Hapgood is accusing Auberge Resorts of negligence in the hiring and supervision of the worker who was killed last April, Kenny Mitchel, 27, of Dominica.
The lawsuit alleges that the company continued to employ Mitchel at the upscale Malliouhana resort despite his arrest three weeks before his death on a rape charge, and that the arrest should have made him ineligible to continue to work on Anguilla, a British territory.
An email message seeking comment was left for Auberge Resorts on Tuesday.
“Auberge Resorts failed to ensure the safety and protection of its hotel guests, the Hapgood family,” said Juliya Arbisman, a lawyer for Hapgood. “As a result, Auberge Resorts should be held responsible for the harm that the Hapgood family has suffered.”
Hapgood says Mitchel showed up at his family’s room unannounced during their April vacation and demanded money, then attacked them. Mitchel died, and Hapgood, who said he acted in self-defense, was charged with manslaughter.
An autopsy report showed Mitchel died of positional asphyxia and received blunt force injuries to his torso and other areas. Hapgood’s representatives said a toxicology report showed Mitchel had drugs, including cocaine, in his system.
Hapgood, a financial adviser, is free on $74,000 bond and has returned to Connecticut. He has refused to return to the British territory for additional court hearings over concerns for his safety. He is considered a fugitive there.
Mitchel’s estate has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Hapgood in Connecticut.