Like many tourists, Youness Adlan came to South Beach to ring in the new year.
A 22-year-old business student at Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island, Adlan partied at Art Deco landmark Cameo nightclub on Washington Avenue in the early hours of New Year’s Day 2015. As he stood in the doorway of a side entrance to the club on Española Way, a six-foot, four-inch bouncer yanked him out of the way.
After they exchanged words and walked away from each other, Adlan turned around and approached the bouncer, Cody Quaife. That’s when, witnesses told police, Quaife punched the smaller man in the face. Adlan fell to the ground, his head hitting the pavement and fracturing his skull in several places. He was in a coma for three months and suffered brain damage that leaves him now unable to take care of himself.
The resulting civil litigation has led to a $5 million settlement from Opium Group, the company that owned Cameo until selling it in March. The amount is the maximum covered by the club’s insurance coverage, lawyers said.
Jeffrey Altman of the Altman Law Firm in Miami and Jason Brenner of the Haggard Law Firm in Coral Gables, who represent Adlan, announced the settlement Wednesday. The young man’s father, Najem Adlan, told reporters his son is slowly learning to walk again.
“For eight months, day by day, he’s suffered,” Adlan said about his son. “Hour by hour.”
Adlan is a Moroccan national, and his parents moved to South Florida to care for him during his rehabilitation.
Brenner said the club held some responsibility for Adlan’s injuries, and that security personnel needed to be trained to properly deal with patrons.
“Youness was a patron there,” Brenner said. “The club had an obligation to protect him. This individual that attacked him was not trained.”
Quaife awaits trial on a felony battery charge, according to Miami-Dade court records.