Stripper: getting tipsy was part of my job (update)

Patsy Hamaker, who in 2007 had an alcohol-related one-car wreck on the way home from The Furnace (NSFW link, unless you work some place that approves of stripclub websites) and sued her employer over the accident, claiming that the club encouraged her to drink, won $100,000 from a Jefferson County, Alabama, jury, somewhat less than the $1.2 million she sought.

Hamaker, whose stage name was Tessa, went to work at The Furnace on Oct. 17, 2007. She drank enough that night for her blood-alcohol content level to rise to nearly three times the legal limit, was pulled by security from one of the VIP rooms, and then left after at least three attempts to stop her, according to testimony during the trial. Her car wrecked on the interstate, and she suffered a broken nose and back.

The club’s records show a customer bought Hamaker one “dancer drink,” a commission drink or bottle ranging in price from $12 to $2,500. The club did not have a record of other drinks she may have [ordered on her own].

Attorneys for the Furnace pointed out that dancers can specify their preference for non-alcoholic or diluted dancer drinks. And the club’s general manager, Jennifer Etheridge, testified that she does not want dancers getting intoxicated. Asked why, Etheridge said: “You try working with 30 drunk people.”

(Erin Stock, “Former stripper gets $100,000 in lawsuit: Blamed club for drunken wreck”, Birmingham News, Feb. 2) (h/t P.E.).


  • This is Alabama, where if it wasn’t for the tax revenue that the sale of alcohol brings in they would probably bring back prohibition.

  • “claiming that the club encouraged her to drink”

    If drinking were indeed part of her job, than she shouldn’t be driving home from work, should she?

    How did this “deep pockets” stuff (blaming someone who’s obviously not at fault simply because they have money) get started? Why do judges allow these suits to go forward?