ST. LOUIS — Two Cardinals players, including pitcher Carlos Martinez, were part of a group of people that allegedly assaulted a man outside of an Illinois strip club in 2014, according to a lawsuit reportedly filed in St. Clair County and comments from the attorney on behalf of the man.
Martinez’s attorney, who had yet to see the suit late Friday night, called the alleged actions “inaccurate and false.”
The suit, filed by Andrew D. D’Angelo, claims that he was “jumped” in the parking lot outside of a strip club near East St. Louis. He alleges he was knocked down and beat up, according to a report in the Belleville News-Democrat. The group of people who allegedly “jumped” D’Angelo included Martinez and the late Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras, and the newspaper reported how the suit specified that Martinez struck D’Angelo in the head and face.
Martinez declined comment through his agent, who referred a reporter to Martinez’s attorney, Jon Fetterolf.
“The statements regarding the conduct of Carlos Martinez are both inaccurate and false,” Fetterolf told the Post-Dispatch. “Neither Carlos or I have received a copy of the lawsuit referenced in the article. When we do, we will respond accordingly.”
Fetterolf is a Washington-based partner at the law firm of Zuckerman Spaeder.
Like Fetterolf, the Cardinals are gathering information on the allegations.
The suit, as detailed by the News-Democrat, states that D’Angelo had been drinking in St. Louis on July 4, 2014, when he had an altercation with a group of men that included Martinez and Taveras. The paper described the confrontation as “verbal.” D’Angelo departed and went to Diamond Caberet, a strip club then known as The Penthouse Club. The group that had a disagreement with D’Angelo in a bar arrived at the same strip club, and it was when D’Angelo walked out to a food stand in the parking lot that the suit’s alleged assault took place.
The Cardinals were in town that day, Independence Day, having just played the Miami Marlins. Taveras was in the lineup. Martinez did not pitch that day or the following day.
In late October of that same year, Taveras and his girlfriend were killed in a single-car accident in the Dominican Republic.
D’Angelo is represented by John Eccher, a St. Louis-based attorney, and Thomas Lech, an Edwardsville-based attorney.
According to an email Eccher sent to the Belleville News-Democract, the described attack “resulted in Andy suffering a broken back and nearly $100,000 in medical bills, with further surgical procedures being needed.”
Eccher told the paper that Martinez, “a role model to our children both in St. Louis and worldwide, made the decision to participate in this planned attack rather than taking any step to prevent it.”
In the email to the paper, he added: “We hope that this lawsuit, in addition to obtaining justice for Andy, may help raise awareness of the importance of standing up for what is right rather than planning and/or participating in what is wrong particularly when it so severely harms another human being.”
The suit also alleges that the club’s owner, IRC L.P., a Colorado-based company, was negligent because it failed to provide adequate security in the parking lot and also liable. The suit is said to allege that the club did not contact police until “well after” the attack had ended.
“While we would have preferred to avoid litigation, the lack of acceptance of responsibility by culpable parties has required Tom Lech and myself to seek judicial intervention on behind of Andy,” Eccher told the Belleville paper.