L.A. city attorney files multimillion-dollar lawsuit against underground nightclub LA Party Society
With no sign and no obvious front entrance, the empty storefront looks like many others in downtown Los Angeles’ Fashion District.
But behind the metal pulldown gate at 1114 South Main St. is an underground nightclub that has been operating in violation of COVID-19 restrictions under the cover of night, city attorneys say.
After documenting evidence of activity at the site for months, including multiple shootings, the city has filed a lawsuit against the LA Party Society’s manager and others associated with the venue, seeking millions of dollars in damages for allegedly holding crowded events amid a surging pandemic, City Atty. Mike Feuer said Monday.
“Beyond the bullets and the assaults and the other criminal activity, I want to emphasize that packing people into an indoor space — an unlicensed club — during the pandemic, is the height of irresponsibility,” Feuer said at a livestreamed news conference.
The suit, which alleges violations of public nuisance and unfair competition laws, was filed against nightclub manager Yves Oscar Jr. and a pair of limited liability companies that are listed as the property’s owners and controlled by real estate investor David Taban.
City attorneys are asking for the venue to be closed indefinitely and for fines of $2,500 a day for each unfair competition violation — up to $3.65 million per defendant.
Taban, who has dozens of properties in his portfolio, is being prosecuted in two separate criminal cases, including one allegedly involving an illegal marijuana dispensary next door to the club. He is not a named defendant in the city attorney’s lawsuit, which was filed in late November.
Oscar was arrested in August in front of the club for an outstanding warrant tied to a sexual assault. During his arrest, more than one pound of marijuana was recovered from his backpack, the lawsuit said.
Taban and Oscar could not be reached for comment.
An Instagram account reportedly tied to the illicit club advertised parties after coronavirus restrictions prohibiting nightclubs and large indoor gatherings began in March.
A Nov. 13 flier for “Freaky Friday” featured a woman in a revealing bathing suit and stated that doors were open from midnight to 6 a.m.
Rap artists and exotic pole dancers performed at some events, and patrons could smoke hookahs and purchase alcohol from a full bar, according to the suit.
A person who answered a message to the Instagram account inquiring about the lawsuit wrote, “Is this for real?”
According to the suit, patrons entered the club through a back door and gated parking lot along the public alley running east of Main Street between 11th and 12th Streets.
A colorful mural emblazoned on a wall in the parking lot depicts the club’s name and images including a marijuana joint and a liquor bottle, the suit said.
An early November Instagram post included a photo of Oscar counting money in front of the mural, according to the lawsuit.
At least five violent incidents have occurred at the venue in recent months, the suit alleged.
In mid-July in the parking lot and alley, a bullet struck a bouncer in the neck, and another bullet hit a second victim in the leg. Less than two months later, a security guard was shot while breaking up an altercation between two clubgoers, according to the lawsuit.
Asked why the city is suing, rather than directing the Police Department to shut the venue down, Feuer said his goal is a permanent closure.
He added that the city is in talks with the Police Department to cut power and water at the facility.
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