ST. PETERSBURG — Lawyers hired by the Don CeSar’s owners are asking a judge to keep the woman who says she suffered lifelong injuries after ingesting liquid nitrogen at one of the hotel’s restaurants from continuing to speak to the news media.
Stacey Wagers, 45 of Tampa filed a lawsuit earlier this month against the luxury hotel. In it, she says a Maritana Grille waiter put liquid nitrogen in her drink to create a smoke effect and that it caused her to fall ill immediately.
The lawyers with Host Hotels, which owns the Don CeSar, are asking a judge to prohibit Wagers and her attorneys from making further public comments until the case is over. Such a request is commonly referred to as a gag order.
Wagers’ attorney with Morgan & Morgan law firm, Adam Brum, has told the Tampa Bay Times that his client was diagnosed with a perforated gastric ulcer and had her gall bladder and portions of her stomach lining removed. It’s those comments and others made to television news stations the Don CeSar’s attorneys are seeking to halt.
In the motion filed on Oct. 14, attorney Michael E. Reed writes that the statements made by Brum to the press were inflammatory, prejudicial, untrue and misleading.
“They attempt to inflame the passions of the likely jury pool,” the motion says. “...and to present (the hotel and its owner) in the light of organizations that were willing to intentionally jeopardize the safety of its patrons for their own financial gain."
The motion says Wagers and her attorney’s statements to the media were a “clear attempt” to influence the jury pool in a manner that violates Florida Bar rules.
Wagers is married to University of South Florida Bulls men’s basketball assistant coach Scott Wagers. She works providing pharmaceutical and nursing consulting.