Verdicts & Settlements

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A Mayer Brown partner has settled a lawsuit against Brennan’s of Houston for an alleged October 2015 rape by a bartender who worked there.

A judge in Harris County, Texas, dismissed Jessica Crutcher’s lawsuit against the restaurant in an order signed Monday, report Law.com and Law360.

Crutcher had claimed that the bartender, who died in November 2018, spiked her drink with a drug and later raped her at her home. Her suit had alleged that the bartender was aided by a restaurant manager who accompanied the bartender. Both employees were fired after the alleged incident.

Crutcher had also sued the manager but dropped the claims in December 2019, according to the articles.

The bartender was charged in July 2018 with raping Crutcher and another woman in a later assault.

A lawyer for Crutcher, Peter Taaffe of the Buzbee Law Firm, told Law.com that there was a settlement, but the terms are confidential. Defense lawyer Jeffrey Bale of the Bale Law Firm told Law.com that the suit “settled by way of a mutual release of all claims and the terms of the settlement are confidential.”

Crutcher had originally sued anonymously. She went public in May 2019, according to Above the Law, which cited a Law.com story. Crutcher said she had nothing to hide, and her disclosure prevented the defendants from unmasking her, according to the prior stories.

Crutcher also said she was inspired to go public by her representation of crime victims.

“I’ve done a lot of pro bono work over the years where I have seen my clients, survivors of horrible violence, very bravely stand up for themselves. I think I should be able to do the same thing here,” she said in May 2019.

Brennan’s of Houston had issued a statement about the lawsuit in February 2019.

“While Brennan’s condemns what Ms. Crutcher claims happened to her in the strongest terms, we strenuously dispute any allegation that our family business is somehow responsible for the damages she claims. We were supportive of her at the time of the incident and we cooperated with the criminal investigation she instigated more than two years later,” the statement said.