Cast member Aimee Hall was charged with misdemeanor battery in the May incident at Ms. Newby's, but the victim has recently filed a lawsuit against Hall and the show's production company.
PANAMA CITY — After being involved in a bar fight that was filmed for the nation to see, a Bay County resident has sued a cast member of MTV’s “Floribama Shore” and the show’s production company for damages from the attack and moved to prevent the video from coming to light, according to official reports.
The alleged victim, Melissa Bensinger, filed the lawsuit July 6 in the 14th Judicial Circuit Court of Bay County. In it, she claims that a May altercation at Ms. Newby’s bar, 8711 Thomas Drive, led to her being punched in the face by cast member Aimee Hall while the production company of “Floribama Shore,” 495 Productions Holdings, facilitated and filmed the attack. Bensinger is suing both for the battery and the production company for negligence, court records show.
Bensinger also has asked the court prohibit the production company from using any of the footage captured by the production company cameras or the barroom cameras. She has demanded a jury trial and claimed damages of at least $15,000, which is the minimum to file a lawsuit in the circuit.
Ted Howell, the attorney representing Bensinger on the part of Perry and Young, said that because of the conditions surrounding the incident and history of the show, the case has potential for punitive damages. That decision ultimately will be left up to the court, Howell said.
“This is a product of what the show brought to Bay County,” he said. “The basic take-home here is there are consequences for your actions, and this girl out on the town battered our client.”
According to the lawsuit, Bensinger was a patron of Ms. Newby’s where cast and crew members of “Floribama Shore” were filming an episode for their second season. An altercation between the two women then escalated to the point Hall “attacked (Bensinger) by grabbing her and then forcefully punching her in the face,” the lawsuit states.
“After battering (Bensinger), Aimee Hall, along with several other cast members of ‘Floribama Shore’ and other agents or employees of … 495 Productions Holdings, fled the scene,” the lawsuit stated. “Ultimately, Aimee Hall was tracked down by a deputy from the Bay County Sheriff’s Office at which time she was issued a notice to appear … for the criminal charge of battery.”
BCSO reported that when deputies arrived about 1 a.m. to Newby’s, Bensinger was crying and stated she had been struck in the face “from ‘left field’ and she was not expecting it.” She identified a woman named “Aimee” as the attacker, officers reported.
When deputies confronted Hall during a traffic stop, she allegedly responded that she was involved in an altercation. However, she was not the aggressor, Hall told officers.
“Aimee stated while at the bar she was confronted by a female, Melissa,” officers wrote. “The female ‘bucked’ at her at which time she, Aimee, threw water in her face. Aimee stated she then left."
Newby’s security, though, told officers they did not know who started the fight, but they had witnessed Hall “reach around (a man) and strike (Bensinger) in the face,” officers wrote. Hall later was charged with battery.
While the criminal case proceeds through the court, Hall is being sued for a count of battery with Bensinger claiming she suffered “serious bodily injury and emotional injury and resulting pain and suffering, mental anguish, embarrassment, medical expenses, and medical and nursing care and treatment,” the lawsuit stated.
In the section of the lawsuit against 495 Productions, Bensinger alleges vicarious liability against the company in the form of a count of battery. She also has claimed negligence against the company, alleging that it encouraged its employees to “consume large amounts of intoxicants, and to engage in extreme and outrageous behavior in order to promote rating, and therefore, increase revenue for the company.”
“495 Productions further breached its duty of care by failing to exercise reasonable care and supervision over its employees,” the lawsuit stated. “In doing so, 495 Productions created a hazardous and dangerous situation when Aimee Hall and the other cast members of ‘Floribama Shore’ traveled throughout Panama City Beach filming.”
Hall pleaded not guilty to the battery charge in June and, according to court documents, her attorneys could call fellow “Floribama Shore” cast members Kortni Gilson, Candace Rice and Nilsa Prowant as witnesses. A trial management hearing has been set for Aug. 7.