A federal jury has awarded the owner of strip club $435,000 in its fight with the city of Milwaukee.
Jon Ferraro, owner of Ferol LLC and Six Star Holdings LLC, has wanted to open an establishment in or near downtown Milwaukee.
The verdict Thursday does not clear the way for Silk Exotic to open a club downtown.
The jury made the award based on potential lost revenue.
In response to the verdict, Sarah Crandall, trial consultant to Ferraro’s companies in the lawsuit, said Friday the next step is to tabulate all attorney’s fees and submit them to the court in a petition.
“There’s no question that they have to pay fees,” she said. “The question is the amount.”
In 2013, Ferraro had offered the city a chance to settle and pay no damages. At that time, she said, attorney’s fees came to more than $200,000.
Now, the court will determine how much the city will pay.
Alderman Robert Baumann, whose district includes the property Ferraro sought to buy, said that the story is far from over because the verdict is just the jury’s determination, which is subject to post-trial motions.
“We’re certainly not at a point where the city of Milwaukee has to cut a check,” Baumann said.
Even if the jury’s verdict becomes the judgment from the court, he said, the city still has the chance to appeal that judgment. Baumann said that the verdict may help Ferraro’s endgame to open a strip club at 1118 N. Fourth St., but that the Common Council will go through the usual process, and has been listening to and is guided by citizens who have shown up to testify. Up to this point, he said, public sentiment has been very strong against Ferrarro’s establishments.
Ferraro could not be immediately reached Friday.