Scott Hapgood, the Connecticut father charged with manslaughter for the death of an Anguillan hotel worker last April, is suing the resort where the death took place claiming it was negligent for him to have ever been hired.
Hapgood, 44, and hotel worker Kenny Mitchel, 27, got into a deadly fight in Hapgood’s family’s room at the Malliouhana Resort which resulted in Mitchel’s death.
Hapgood and his family say Mitchel arrived unannounced under the pretense of offering to fix the sink in their bathroom. They say the young Caribbean worker produced a knife once inside the room and that Hapgood fought him to protect his wife, son and two daughters.
A toxicology report has since revealed that Mitchel was under the influence of cocaine and alcohol at the time. He had previously been arrested in Anguilla on rape charges.
Hapgood was charged with manslaughter and is awaiting trial on the island.
Scott Hapgood is awaiting trial on manslaughter charges for the death of Kenny Mitchel in April this year
On Monday, he filed a lawsuit against Auberge Resorts – which owns the hotel – saying it was their fault Mitchel was even there on the day he died.
They say that he should have been fired over his previous arrest on rape charges and that it was the resort’s fault he was on the premises and around children and families.
‘Auberge Resorts failed to ensure the safety and protection of its hotel guests, the Hapgood family.
‘As a result, Auberge Resorts should be held responsible for the harm that the Hapgood family has suffered,’ it said.
On Monday, he filed a lawsuit against Auberge Resorts – which owns the Malliouhana Resort (above) – saying it was their fault Mitchel was even there on the day he died
Auberge Resorts did not immediately respond to the lawsuit on Monday.
The lawsuit was filed in Californian court. Not only does it accuse Auberge of negligence for having Mitchel on the premises, it also accuses the resort of putting guests at risk of contracting ‘HIV and/or other diseases’ because, it claims, Mitchel was a drug user.
‘Given that Mitchel was both a known drug-user and an accused rapist, fear of transmission of serious diseases, including HIV, was a legitimate fear supported by medical evidence.
Scott Hapgood is shown in an image taken after his fight with Mitchel
‘Auberge and its employees acted with reckless disregard of the probability that Scott would suffer emotional distress and mental suffering, knowing that Scott was present when the conduct occurred,’ it reads.
The lawsuit says that the prosecution against Hapgood has been unjust.
‘To plaintiff Scott Hapgood, the 45-year-old husband of Kallie and father of Ryan, Hope, and Winn, the “Auberge way” means something different,’ it says, invoking the hotel’s slogan.
‘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. It means getting charged with a frivolous criminal prosecution, thrown in jail without just cause, risking being killed because the attacker’s relatives worked there, and fighting against extradition.
‘And it means getting suspended from his job, enduring ongoing trauma and hardship, and being forced to defend a lawsuit by the representatives of his attacker. To plaintiffs Ryan and Hope Hapgood, it means fearing your father is about to be killed by a hotel employee and fearing for your own life.
‘For Scott and the entire Hapgood family, the Plaintiffs here, Auberge’s “dream vacation” is a nightmare that does not end,’ the lawsuit reads.
Mitchel’s family deny that he was drunk or high and say he was an upstanding man.
The local community in Anguilla have been outraged by the fact that Hapgood was granted bail and say he should have been forced to wait for trial in jail.
Hapgood hired a private security detail to accompany him on his trips back to the island because of the growing anger towards the case.
He has asked for a swift trial and says local prosecutors are delaying it.