Club sues its own waiter for $30k after Hermès handbag wine spill

Less than a month after a woman sued a country club after a waiter spilled wine on her pink Hermès handbag, the club has responded by placing the blame solely on the waiter.

Hermès handbags regularly sell for tens of thousands of dollars, with a bag sold in Hong Kong in 2017 selling for US$377,000, breaking the world record for most expensive bag sold at auction.

In a suit filed on 29 October at the Superior Court of New Jersey, Maryana Beyder sued the Alpine County Club in New Jersey after a waiter spilled wine on her expensive designer handbag during a meal last year.

According to northjersey.com, Beyder was forced to sue the club after trying to resolve the issue privately for almost a year until discussions broke down.

In a cross-claim (one defendant sues another in the same legal action) on 7 November, the Alpine Country Club filed a lawsuit against the waiter involved in the incident.

Alexandra Errico, Beyder’s attorney, told northjersey.com that she and her client were not impressed by the club’s actions.

She told the news site: “The way the story read is that somehow we’re blaming the employee. We’re not. Not at all. You go to any restaurant. You have a leather jacket on. 100 dollars. 50 dollars. 20 dollars. If a waiter spills on it and it’s destroyed, you’re expecting the restaurant to compensate you for that particular item.”

“They [the club] did not have to sue their own employee. It basically shows that they really are acting in bad faith.”

Errico also told the New York Post that the incident “has absolutely nothing to do with the waiter” and that her client was attempting to gain compensation from the “very, very, very rich country club”.

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

The waiter involved was not named in the original lawsuit, however it was stated that he or she “acted in a negligent manner”.

The court documents added: “The defendant [the Alpine Country Club] had a duty to provide qualified and competent employees for its business and for the safety of its patrons.”

The pale pink bag, which has now been discontinued by Hermès, was bought as a 30th birthday present for Beyder by her husband, and according to Errico, is now covered in large stains.

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