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Country club drops waiter from $30K lawsuit after he spilled wine on Hermès bag

The Alpine Country Club is the defendant in a lawsuit filed by patron Maryana Beyder after one of the club's employees spilled wine on her handbag.
The Alpine Country Club is the defendant in a lawsuit filed by patron Maryana Beyder after one of the club's employees spilled wine on her handbag. Google Maps

A waiter at a New Jersey country club is off the hook after his employer dropped him from a lawsuit alleging he spilled red wine over a patron’s discontinued Hermès Kelly bag in 2018.

The country club decided on Monday that the waiter would be dropped from legal action in a recent update to the lawsuit.

On Sept. 7 last year, Maryana Beyder was enjoying a meal at the Alpine Country Club in Demarest, N.J., when a waiter came by, spilling red wine and allegedly ruining her expensive discontinued bag, according to the lawsuit.

“Whoever the waiter was proceeded to pour red wine and didn’t stop,” Alexandra Errico, Beyder’s lawyer, told the North Jersey Record. “Poured it all over her. Poured it all over her husband. And poured it all over a very expensive Hermès bag.”

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Global News has reached out to the Alpine Country Club for comment.

In court documents filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, the club says damages to the accessory “were brought about by the superseding, intervening culpable and/or criminal conduct on the part of other persons or entities.”

According to Beyder, she attempted to get monetary compensation from the club for almost a year and ended up suing for negligence when she received no recourse.

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Even her insurance company didn’t understand the value of her bag, Beyder’s lawyer explained.

“It’s sort of like a rich person problem,” Errico said. “They couldn’t comprehend that a bag could be that much. I think that was the biggest problem with that. They kind of discriminated against her that she actually owned that type of bag.”

Beyder sued the club for “negligent hiring” as well as the waiter, who is referred to in court documents as “John Doe.”

Errico said her client wasn’t trying to collect money from the waiter, however the club sued its own employee, reportedly demanding “contribution” from him.

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“There was never any intention of my client to go after this person at all,” she explained. “The only intention was to have the employer take responsibility.”

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According to Errico, her client was forced to include the waiter in the lawsuit.

“They did not have to sue their own employee,” she said.

At the time of the incident, Errico told NBC News that Beyder knows it was an accident but expects to be reimbursed for the bag.

The country club charges a US$65,000 initiation fee and collects US$19,202 from members annually.

As yet, there appears to be no final resolution to the lawsuit.

The Hermès Kelly bag is named after Grace Kelly, and often sells for tens of thousands of dollars.

The most expensive Hermès bag, in the brand’s Birkin style, sold in a Hong Kong auction for US$377,000 in 2017. Called the Himalayan Birkin, it was made of Nile crocodile hide and co-created by Hermès founder Jean-Louis Dumas and actor Jane Birkin on a flight from Paris to London.

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meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca