In a lawsuit filed in Harris County District Court this week, a woman alleges that a former employee of popular Houston bar Pub Fiction sexually assaulted her.
The suit, filed on May 2 by former Pub Fiction employee Nina Nguyen, alleges that Fidan Baca, a former “managing partner” in the bar, and Sean Kerrigan, a former bartender, sexually assaulted her in September 2016. Nguyen says that Baca and Kerrigan bought her drinks, then groped her before forcing her to perform oral sex while the three traveled to a club in an Uber.
In the complaint, Baca and Kerrigan are colorfully identified as “Scumbag #1” and “Scumbag #2,” and the assault is described in graphic detail. “Scumbag #1 proceeded to remove his small penis from his pants and forced Plaintiff to perform oral sex,” the complaint reads. “Scumbag #2 also proceeded to remove his even smaller penis from his pants and forced Plaintiff to perform oral sex. Plaintiff resisted.”
Plaintiff’s attorney Chad Pinkerton tells Eater that his choice of language in writing this complaint was deliberate. “A public filing is a way to tell the public what is going on,” he says. “These two people are scumbags and I wanted to identify them as scumbags in the public. They raped many girls, and my client just happens to be one of them. They made this little plan where they would get girls drunk and take advantage of them either at the bar or somewhere else after.”
Pub MT, LLC, the company that owns Pub Fiction, is the sole entity named in the lawsuit, which alleges that the bar was “operated in a negligent manner” because it violated its own written policies and unspecified Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission rules, and failed to protect its employees from harm. “[Pub MT, LLC] took on the responsibility to supervise its employees and management from committing assault upon others,” the complaint continues. The lawsuit also alleges that Baca has fled the country to evade prosecution.
Kerrigan, who passed away last year, is also named in a $20 million lawsuit filed against Brennan’s of Houston by an anonymous plaintiff earlier this year. The suit alleges that Kerrigan, who also bartended at Brennan’s, drugged and assaulted a woman. Criminal charges in both cases were filed against Kerrigan, but he died before the charges could be adjudicated.
When reached for comment, Pub Fiction co-owner Michael Paolucci says that Baca was not an employee of Pub Fiction in 2016, and has never been a co-owner of the bar. He does acknowledge that Baca was an employee at the bar, working as a bartender and manager, and also worked with Salt & Pepper Group, the management company that oversees operations at Pub Fiction.
Nguyen is seeking damages in excess of $5 million, including loss of earnings capacity, and mental and physical pain and suffering. Pub Fiction has not officially responded to the lawsuit in court, and Eater has reached out for comment. A trial date has not yet been set.