Software Consultant Michael Lofthouse filed a Lawsuit against several individuals and the Lucia Restaurant for multiple reckless actions that ruined his life.
Online PR News – 03-March-2021 – Monterey, CA – On February 16, 2021 Independent Software Consultant Michael Lofthouse filed a Countersuit against several individuals and the Lucia Restaurant at Bernardus Lodge and Spa for what he alleges are multiple reckless actions that ruined his personal and professional life. CASE NO. 20CV002067
The suit revolves around a July 4th dinner at the Lucia Restaurant at Bernardus Lodge and Spa in Carmel Valley where Lofthouse alleges he had an altercation with a group of five who were also eating dinner at the restaurant. Lofthouse claims the group of five along with a waitress at the restaurant identified in the complaint as Gennica Cochran were watching him inappropriately throughout the evening. When his companion for the evening went to the restroom, the group began to provoke him and accuse him of being a “Trumper” among other derogatory statements and demanded he leave the restaurant. One of the party of five began to film Lofthouse without his consent and the party continued to goad him into an argument. Lofthouse who was slightly inebriated became Defensive and countered back with equivalent insults. In the video which the Lawsuit says is less than a minute long, waitress Gennica Cochran joins the party in attacks against Lofthouse. At the same time, a voice can be heard presumably from the person taking the video hurling equally hateful insults at Lofthouse who gathers up his things and leaves not knowing that his life is about to change forever.
The suit alleges that Jordan Chan, one of the party of five, posted a video the next day adding her own commentary identifying Lofthouse as a white supremacist, a racist, and other unsupported statements demeaning his character. Chan who identifies as Asian asks friends to also post the video which is shared across multiple platforms and eventually reaches millions and millions of people some of whom add their own unsupported commentary. Lofthouse is subsequently identified by name and his company is named along with publication of his address, pictures of his home, among other normally unavailable information. The suit alleges that Lucia Restaurant at Bernardus spa waitress Gennica Cochran released his name to the public based on the credit card he provided her when paying the restaurant.
Chan, Orosa and others make additional claims unsupported by the posted video or in any other manner. These claims have no basis in truth and have totally destroyed the reputation of Michael Lofthouse to the point where he will likely be unable to find gainful employment or participate in normal life activities in the future and has been on the receiving end of 1000’s of death threats from cancel culture extremists and online trolls.
The decision to pursue legal action against the five individuals along with the restaurant comes after Chan, Cochran, and the restaurant all continued to perpetuate the false claims about Lofthouse via media interviews that corroborated the false narrative made up by Chan and her companions. Waitress Gennica Cochran was even hailed a hero and received over One Hundred Thousand Dollars via GoFundMe Campaigns. Even though Cochran escalated the situation where customers dining at the high-end restaurant got into such an altercation, Sean Damery who is the Vice President of Lucia Restaurant and Bernardus Lodge says “he was proud of the staff” referring to their handling of the disturbance.
July 4th, 2020 is significant to this story in that it falls directly after COVID-19 home confinement. The Lucia Restaurant was even touted as the perfect getaway from Covid Fatigue. Additionally, violent protests were happening concurrently in major cities all over the Country for the Black Lives Matter Movement. Both Chan and Cochran claimed to be activists and there was a BLM protest that very day in Marina, Monterey. Chan even sells BLM Memorabilia including tote bags that evoke racial tolerance.
After the initial post made by Chan, Lofthouse received an immeasurable amount of hate correspondence through all means of contact including his cell phone, emails, social media, and even regular mail. This included death threats as well as harassment of family members and potential clients. He was forced to shut down all of his social Media Accounts and endure the cancellation of Business Agreements rendering him indigent. However, the damage did not stop there. The post was shared by celebrities including Kelly Clarkson and Patton Oswalt among others and both Chan and Cochran were both featured on major media outlets where they continued their false narrative about Lofthouse without knowing anything about him or making any effort to learn about his background. This narrative included labeling him as a racist and a white supremacist and urging everyone to “Boycott Lofthouse’s company”.
Lofthouse, who was hospitalized due to a psychological breakdown after these events, was trying to put the matter behind him when he was served what he believed to be a frivolous and incoherent lawsuit from the original party of five suggesting that they had been emotionally distressed from the less than one-minute-long incident at the restaurant. As he believes he was goaded into a false and potentially staged altercation with the group, Lofthouse realized this issue was much bigger than just him and that people need to be held accountable for the things they post on social media. He even reached out to the party of five as well as the restaurant in hopes of avoiding the necessity of legal action and intends to file additional lawsuits against media companies who published and even embellished the false accounts made by Chan, Cochran, and the restaurant in the near future.
The lawsuit alleges nine causes of action including defamation, invasion of privacy, and other related statutory violations. CASE NO. 20CV002067