The “hedonistic” lifestyle of former Hard Rock Hotel CEO Walter Edward “Ed” Scheetz won’t be put on trial now that a settlement has been reached in a lawsuit alleging Scheetz was responsible for the August 2007 overdose death of 23-year-old Michelle Hatchel.
Hatchel’s mother, brother, grandmother and aunt alleged through Las Vegas attorney Michael Amador that Scheetz and Morgans Hotel Group, the Hard Rock’s parent company, were responsible for the woman’s death. Amador was unavailable for comment.
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but Scheetz’s New York City attorneys said in a statement that Hatchel’s life and death were tragic. Hatchel was a teenager living in Colorado when the 1999 Columbine High School massacre occurred. In court papers, her family said that she lost friends in the rampage and that the resulting trauma made her vulnerable to Scheetz’s manipulations.
In a statement released shortly after the lawsuit was dismissed in federal court in Las Vegas, attorneys Stanley Arkin and Peter Pope called the complaint against Scheetz “slanderous and bogus.” Still, they said, Scheetz and the hotel group “decided to settle the lawsuit to bring closure to the Hatchel family.”
Earlier, Scheetz settled a similar wrongful death lawsuit with Hatchel’s father for a reportedly substantial sum.
In the lawsuit, Amador alleged Scheetz flew Hatchel to Las Vegas from New York on the company jet “for a weekend of cocaine and sex.” Her death, Amador alleged, was the “proximate result of the defendants’ wrongful and/or negligent acts or omissions.”
She died in a Turnberry Towers luxury condominium, a penthouse suite leased by Morgans.
Police investigated and concluded Hatchel’s death was not a homicide.