Slidebar Agrees To Settle Ex-Bouncer Lawsuit Stemming From Kelly Thomas Killing
Sources: Slidebar's Popoff reluctantly agreed to settle sensational lawsuit only for financial reasons
Lawyers for Fullerton's popular Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen agreed this month to settle a wrongful termination lawsuit filed last year by a disgruntled bouncer who claimed he was fired for not remaining silent about his alleged observations relating to the 2011 police killing of Kelly Thomas.
Michael Reeves filed a notice of settlement on Aug. 1 with Orange County Superior Court Judge Craig Griffin and declared that the deal is contingent upon the successful execution of terms that were not disclosed in court documents.
Griffin vacated the Feb. 10, 2014, jury trial date and scheduled a Dec. 4 hearing that could result in the formal dismissal of the lawsuit.
Reeves, who worked the night cops gruesomely killed an unarmed Thomas, claimed Slidebar officials prompted a chain of events that ended in an unnecessary fatality by concocting a false police report enticing cops to confront the homeless man in a nearby parking lot.
He also asserted in his lawsuit that originally sought $4 million in compensation that he was fired for not agreeing to keep quiet.
Slidebar owner Jeremy Popoff has long maintained there was no false police report and insisted that neither he nor any of his employees did anything wrong.
(The Orange County District Attorney's office and the FBI, which probed related events, backed Popoff's assertion.)
Sources say that Popoff--who endured more than a year of erroneous, unfair public bashing surrounding Reeve's complaints--reluctantly agreed to settle for an unknown amount and did so only as a financial decision.
In prior interviews earlier this year with the Weekly, Popoff--a member of the alternative rock band Lit--said he anticipated that the plaintiff's strategy was to win a settlement for the unjustified lawsuit by hoping Slidebar would pay him a small amount rather than engaging in a protracted, expensive court battle.
Gee, I could have had a V8 moment: Bouncer Reeves after learning Slidebar surveillance videos contradicted his testimony
Perhaps Popoff's February observations ultimately proved true.
Dubin, who gained international attention by winning a $30 million civil judgment in 2005 against Hollywood actor Robert Blake for the killing of his wife, would only say on Sunday, "The matter has been resolved."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss OC Weekly's biggest stories. Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts