Frat stars, beware! The staff at Georgetown bro palace Smith Point severed a man’s finger, if one of the bar’s former patrons is to be believed.
The inadvertent Yakuza initiation of 40-something lawyer Robert S. Dyer happened on October 1, 2011, according to a lawsuit Dyer filed last week that accuses the bar of assault and battery. Smith Point didn’t respond to requests for comment about the case.
Dyer, fresh from some parties around town, went to the Wisconsin Avenue NW bar before closing, his lawsuit says. With Smith Point about to close for the night, Dyer soon had to pay his bill. The bar requires a $30 minimum for credit card charges, according to Dyer’s attorney, Jonathan C. Dailey, but Dyer had only bought $12 worth of drinks.
“You could order seven Coca-Colas—-who wants to do that, right?” says Dailey. Instead, according to Dailey, Smith Point employees suggested that Dyer—-who had already had six or seven drinks before coming to the bar, according to his lawsuit—-meet the minimum by ordering three vodka shots, mixed together with Red Bull and poured into one glass. “The bartender(s) at close should have known that [Dyer] was not in a position to make a reasonable decision to continue to consume alcohol,” Dyer’s lawsuit reads. Apparently, Dyer was soon so intoxicated that, he alleges in the suit, Smith Point’s employees tried to bounce him from the bar.
“They had to do it quickly, right,” says Dailey, who insists his client wasn’t belligerent. “It was getting close to closing time.”
But at the bar’s entrance, according to the lawsuit, Dyer stumbled. He grabbed at the bar’s wooden door for support, but a Smith Point employee allegedly closed the door on Dyer’s hand—-cutting off his left pinky finger.
Dyer, apparently so deep in a vod-bomb haze that he didn’t notice he was down a digit, was trying to get cab money from an ATM when a cop pointed out that he was bleeding all over Georgetown. By the time Dyer was in an ambulance, however, it was too late to reattach the finger, according to his lawyer.
Dyer and Dailey are seeking at least $500,000 for assault and battery from Smith Point, which is also facing an unrelated lawsuit from a former bouncer who says he was injured in a fight with a customer. But all the money that a juror could award won’t restore Dyer’s finger.
“He’s got a little nub there at the bottom,” says Dailey.
Update, Sept. 19, 10:40 a.m.: While Dyer lost his finger on September 31—-a non-existent date—-according to court papers, his lawyer says the incident occurred on October 1.
Severed finger picture by Shutterstock