Another Roethlisberger-Related Harrah’s Lawsuit?

Bill Harrah is whirling dirvishly in his grave at this hour as more Ben Roethlisberger-related litigation has surfaced involving the Lake Tahoe hotel-casino. This time it doesn’t involve rape allegations, however.

Ben Roethlisberger

A former worker at Harrah’s Cabo Wabo Cantina evidently carded a woman who was with Roethlisberger during the same week of the alleged Andrea McNulty assault. After Roethlisberger complained to Harrah’s-Tahoe president John Koster about it, the employee was fired. Big Ben is costing Harrah’s a lot of money and headaches lately, no?

Alvaro Brito, the former assistant manager at Cabo Wabo, filed an amended complaint last Friday against Harrah’s and Koster, claiming he asked a woman who was with Roethlisberger if she was 21, and was later fired for it. The Cabo Wabo serves alcohol and no one under 21 is allowed in.


Brito was the assistant manager of the Cabo Wabo Cantina at Harrah’s in July 2008 when Roethlisberger came in with the woman and two men, he said in the suit, originally filed Aug. 20. Following company policy and state law, he asked to see the woman’s ID, because she appeared to be underage, but they refused, and instead allegedly mocked his accent and verbally abused him, the suit said.

He called security, but they were unable to come to the restaurant, so Brito tried again, the suit said.

“This time, the man later identified as Roethlisberger handed the woman’s ID to Mr. Brito,” the suit said. “The ID indicated that the woman was 27 years of age.”

Brito thanked Roethlisberger, the suit said, and went on with his duties.

“Later,” the suit said, “Roethlisberger approached Mr. Brito at the entrance of Cabo and asked him if he knew John Koster, the president of Harrah’s.”

Brito confirmed that he knew Koster, the suit said, and then Roethlisberger “said that he was a good friend of Koster and that he would be speaking to Koster about Mr. Brito.” Brito was later told that Koster and Roethlisberger were golf partners.

Days later, Brito was told that he was “suspended” because of “what happened” with Roethlisberger. Then on July 15, 2008, Brito was called by employee relations and told he had been fired because of the “incident on Monday, July 7, 2008, with the Roethlisberger group.”

Although the Brito case may seem to be completely unrelated to the McNulty charges, it isn’t entirely. It actually gives her a bit of ammo.

McNulty had said in her lawsuit that she had heard about Brito’s firing, and feared going to the police about Roethlisberger because she thought Koster would protect him, and that she, too, would be fired.

Based on what “Koster had done to the waitress and manager at Cabo Wabo,” she said she knew that “John Koster and (security chief) Guy Hyder would protect Ben Roethlisberger and the company rather than supporting a police investigation.”

Meanwhile, as expected, Washoe District Judge Brent Adams denied motions to dismiss the McNulty case, and also refused to delete portions of McNulty’s suit that Roethlisberger’s lawyers said were “scandalous” and “improper.”

Also yesterday, a fire broke out in the forest next door to Harrah’s. Ben? Can you account for your whereabouts then?