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My Soulless Surf Journey
My campaign story for my GiveSendGo fundraiser
In 2018, I took a surf lesson with Toes On The Nose and the Hyatt Hotel in Huntington Beach. I was told via several of their own ads and brochures that I would be provided a leash with my lesson. Before this, I had taken previous lessons with other businesses and had always been given a surfboard with a leash. So when my surf instructor did not give me a leash with my board, I asked him if there was some new rule or if something had happened prompting them to no longer provide leashes anymore. For example, a new rule that deemed leashes were no longer safe. He said yes, so I believed him and proceeded on with the lesson. As a result of not having a leash during this lesson, two of my fingers were severed on my right hand (my dominant hand) by the board string. The only purpose of the board string on a surfboard is to attach to a leash. Without a leash it’s a hazard, and I would not have lost my fingers if they had actually provided me with a leash as promised via their own literature. Furthermore, in the surfing world it’s an industry standard globally to use leashes for safety reasons, and even the City of Huntington Beach’s website instructs surfers to leash your board.
The loss of my two fingertips required me to get multiple surgeries, go to rehab, and seek various kinds of ongoing medical care. Also, I had to get expensive prosthetics in order to type again, a process that took over two years, and as most of you know, I write for a living. The amount of physical pain this injury has caused me has been beyond unbearable at times and the same rings true for the emotional stress, depression, anxiety and PTSD I have struggled with because of the loss of my fingertips. Furthermore, this injury and the ongoing legal drama that ensued, has taken up so much of my time and energy which has prevented me from working at the capacity I used to be capable of.
Within two days of my accident, my lawyer sent a letter asking Toes On The Nose to preserve all evidence related to my accident. Also, I requested a very reasonable amount of money that would not have even covered all of my past and future related medical expenses. Toes On The Nose and the Hyatt refused to give me a penny, so I had no choice but to file a lawsuit against them in order to get any kind of compensation from them for their negligence.
I have quietly fought this legal battle for almost four years now. I did not take my story public because I foolishly thought the parties involved eventually would accept some kind of responsibility and accountability for their gross negligence. Instead, they made this situation as difficult and as stressful as possible for me during a time when I should’ve just been focusing on learning to cope and function with two missing fingertips. Not only did I never receive an apology or any sign of empathy or remorse from Toes On The Nose Owner, Richard Allred, and his associates, they treated me like absolute garbage during the entire process. They delayed our trial numerous times, and at one point, Allred said he was unavailable for months for trial because it was their high season. He couldn’t be bothered while I was unable to type for years, and I still struggle to this day, all day everyday, with pain, mobility and other various issues due to this disability I now have. I can’t even get peace during sleep because my fingers throb at night. And last year, their Burlington Insurance agent, of ICG Companies, went so far as to mock me by smirking and chuckling during a pre-trial hearing over Zoom.
On March 8, the jury trial for my case began and it lasted five weeks. It’s my opinion the defendants pathologically lied, changed their stories and waffled under oath during their testimony in court. When I took the stand, their lawyer brought up information related to a sexual assault I was a victim of from a decade ago. They forced me to re-live the two worst traumas I’ve experienced in my life, and there are no words to describe how horrific and difficult this was for me. Also, there was a ton of key evidence that went missing, despite the letter my lawyer sent two days after the accident demanding the preservation of all evidence, and the judge even instructed the jury that they have to assume that the “missing evidence” would’ve hurt the defendants. Furthermore, my lawyer proved that Toes On The Nose and the Hyatt Hotel didn’t and still doesn’t have a legal license to teach surf lessons. The other surf schools in Huntington Beach have a legal license to teach lessons, and they have to pay the city a percentage of their revenue from each lesson. Toes On The Nose and the Hyatt do not have this license. The judge even issued a direct verdict on this. Also, I want to add that my lawyer and I are lead to believe that Toes On The Nose is still conducting surf lessons with no leash. We know the board string is a hazard without a leash that can severe fingers, and I also believe the board string is big enough to severe a child’s whole hand and possibly even an arm. My lawyer put on a phenomenal case with overwhelming evidence that Toes On The Nose and the Hyatt Hotel committed gross negligence. I also believe we had a very good judge who was fair and reasonable.
With that being said, I lost my case. It’s my strong opinion that I did not get a fair trial and that there was unethical behavior that lead to this result. Curiously, the jury only deliberated for about an hour and 45 minutes after 5 weeks of trial. Furthermore, they did not submit one question to the court bailiff nor did they ask to see any of the over 100 exhibits my lawyer submitted as evidence. My lawyer told me he has never had such a strong case in his entire career, and he said this is the grossest miscarriage of justice he’s ever seen. The parties involved refused to settle my case for an amount that would’ve covered my bills despite having three layers of insurance and coverage up to $9 million. Instead they pumped a ton of money into lawyers -- most likely way more money than the number I asked for years ago to pay for my medical care.
I have to wonder if their refusal to settle had anything to do with who I am and the work that I do. It’s not lost on me that Jeffrey Epstein victim, Virginia Giuffre, claimed she was allegedly forced to have sex with Hyatt Hotels Corporation Chairman, Tom Pritzker, in a lawsuit she filed that was unsealed in 2019.
Not only do I have outstanding medical bills and have lost a ton of money from my savings to pursue justice for this, the defendants are now moving to make me pay their trial costs. This would cause me to go bankrupt, and I believe they know this.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation is a billion-dollar company – why are they determined to put me in financial ruin?
I left the mainstream media to expose sex trafficking unfiltered. For five years, I have put all my content out for free and I haven’t profited off of any of the documentaries I’ve done. Also, I used my own money to finance my projects. I was able to fund some of my independent journalism through donations and my online stores. However, my PayPal and Venmo have been shut down and two of my online stores were shut down due to my political beliefs and my sex trafficking coverage. Etsy even banned me from selling “Child Lives Matter” merchandise. The censorship and constant harassment I deal with has made it almost impossible for me to make a living for myself doing this high-risk journalism.
My lawyer is currently pursuing an appeal, and I’m going to continue to fight till I get justice for this. I’ve set up a GiveSendGo fundraising campaign to help pay off my medical bills, costs related to my trial, future legal costs and to help me rebuild my business. I hate asking for help or money but I am left with no other option at this time. This long nightmare has left me shattered and utterly devastated; I feel like I’m drowning. I want to thank all my followers who have supported me through the years, and I greatly appreciate your continued support and prayers at this time.
You can donate to my fundraiser here. I’ll be posting a series of essays to explain in much greater detail what I’ve gone through these past few years here on my Substack.