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Exotic dancer sues club for performance injury

On April 16, Amy Andrade-Luna was working as an exotic dancer at The Harem.

While she performed her routine on an apparatus known as the “wheel,” the piece of equipment came apart, causing her to fall suddenly to the stage.

Now Andrade-Luna is suing the strip club and its parent company for damages including medical expenses, lost income and the value of her time, according to court documents filed Friday in Allen Superior Court.

According to the civil tort claim, The Harem, 1002 Coliseum Blvd. N., provides stages and other equipment for the dancers, who are independent contractors.

The wheel is attached to an I-beam above the dance stage, and during Andrade-Luna's routine, it came loose from the beam, according to court documents.

She claims that The Harem and its parent company, K&K Holdings, failed to properly install, inspect and maintain the apparatus in safe condition for those using it in their dance routines.

Indiana law provides no specific safety rules governing conditions at a strip club, said Bob Dittmer, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Labor.

But if employees of strip clubs suffer injuries, they can file a complaint with the Indiana Occupational Health and Safety Administration, he said.

“We react to employee complaints regularly,” Dittmer said of general complaints fielded by IOSHA.

Investigators could look at issues such as the weight load supported by the poles or whether they were properly anchored. Those are things a business would have to ensure for the safety of its employees, Dittmer said.

Also, general workplace safety rules require safety gear for someone who is operating or functioning 4 feet or more off the ground, Dittmer said.

But since Andrade-Luna identified herself in court documents as an independent contractor, she is limited in what she can do, he said.

“We only have jurisdiction over employees,” Dittmer said. “Since she's a contractor, she has to go the civil suit route.”

A message left with management at The Harem was not returned Friday.

rgreen@jg.net

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