FARMINGTON — Top Deck denied the allegations of racism made against it and the club is countersuing the Navajo families making the accusations.

Dustin and Veronica Curley filed a lawsuit against Top Deck in November.

The lawsuit states Dustin Curley was viciously beaten by a bouncer at Top Deck after going to the club on St. Patrick's Day.

The suit also says the club's bouncers have a history of beating Native Americans.

The Curleys are Navajo and in the lawsuit they said they were attacked by bouncers, but non-Native people in their party were not harmed.

Top Deck, owned by Susan Douglas; and Tyler Black and Dustin Jacobs, the bouncers who are being sued, filed a response to the Curley's lawsuit last month.

The response denies nearly all of the allegations the Curley's made against the club.

"I've been looked at differently by people I considered friends," Black said in an email. "It got to me for a very long time. I couldn't sleep, I didn't want to go out anywhere in town and I distanced myself from everyone but the people that know that nothing I do is racially motivated."

The lawsuit also accuses the Curleys and others of telling The Daily Times about the lawsuit, which it says has damaged reputations.

"In essence, the Plaintiffs and John Does were trying this Cause of Action in the Newspaper as opposed to this Court," the suit states.

Former District Judge Thomas Hynes is one of the attorneys representing Top Deck.


"I've been practicing law for a long time and when I started out the rule was, "You don't try your cases in the newspaper,'" Hynes said Wednesday.

The Curley's lawsuit said Black and Jacobs beat Dustin Curley, breaking his nasal bone and damaging his eye seriously enough to require several surgeries.

The alleged assault happened as Dustin Curley was leaving the bar around 1 a.m. on March 18.

Attorneys for the Curleys said Dustin Curley lost most of the vision in his right eye because of the alleged attack.

Justin Curley, Dustin Curley's brother, and his wife, Winona Rose Curley, are also suing the club and several of its bouncers.

The Curleys' lawsuit asks for compensation because of the battery, violations of New Mexico Human Rights Act, liability, negligence and because the events outside the club damaged their marriages.

Justin Curley was with his brother the night of the alleged assault and he said he was also hurt by bouncers, according to the lawsuit.

Black has been charged with felony assault for the alleged beating.

He is scheduled to go to trial in March.

Top Deck did not return requests for comment on Wednesday.

Christian Hatfield, one of the attorneys representing the Curleys, said they will file a response to the counterclaim.

"We don't feel there is a basis for any of the claims in the counterclaim, he said.