Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Children of woman killed at popular St. Louis cop hangout blame lax security in lawsuit (St. Louis, MO)

ST. LOUIS • Two children of a woman killed in a robbery and shootout at a popular St. Louis cop bar are suing the owners over her death.

The suit by Jody and Charles Lombardo says owners of Pooh’s Corner, 6023 Virginia Avenue, failed to provide a guard, surveillance or a secure entry system and didn’t prevent armed patrons from drinking.

“My mother said she was safe at Pooh’s Corner bar, unaware of the lack of security and violent history that took place in that bar,” Jody Lombardo said in an emailed statement. She added, “If Pooh’s Corner bar had proper security put in place after past shootings and numerous violent incidents, our mother would still be alive.”

The suit, filed Nov. 14 in St. Louis Circuit Court, names the bar, owners Debra and Leonard King and S&K Holdings Inc. The Kings could not be reached for comment.

Derreaun Davis, Corey Wade and at least one other man burst in shortly before 11 p.m. on Dec. 2, 2014, and ordered everyone to the floor, police said. One robber fired a shot into the ceiling and a shootout followed.

The Lombardos’ mother, Diana Lawrence, 63, was hit in the head and died the next day. Three others, including retired St. Louis Officer Danny Atkins, were wounded.

Atkins had been drinking at the bar and shot and wounded Davis and Wade, who are now serving two consecutive life sentences with the possibility of parole.

The suit claims Atkins was “visibly intoxicated” and that Pooh’s should not have served him knowing he was armed. Atkins could not be reached for comment.

Debra King has credited Atkins with saving lives, saying in 2014: “I do believe had he not been there, everyone would be dead.”

Police were called to the bar 44 times from 2004-14 for incidents including thefts, fights, burglary, assault and arson, the suit claims. It also mentions an attempted holdup in 2008, when Atkins was bartending and shot one of two robbers.

Jody Lombardo is the mother of Nicholas Gilbert, 27, who died in police custody in December 2015 after struggling with St. Louis officers in a holding cell at department’s Central Patrol Division. She and the man’s father have filed a federal lawsuit over that, claiming the department and 10 officers were responsible for Gilbert’s death.

via: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/children-of-woman-killed-at-popular-st-louis-cop-hangout/article_338e47ad-22d9-5658-a6b9-e81f4abcce3b.html

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Lawsuit blames XYZ bar, American Legion for 2015 death of Mulberry motorcyclist (Lakeland, FL)

LAKELAND — The brother of a Mulberry man killed in a hit-and-run crash in 2015 is suing XYZ Liquor Inc. and the American Legion in Mulberry for serving alcohol to a man charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving death.

The lawsuit filed in October describes John Anthony Stone as an alcoholic who drank at the two bars on Nov. 6, 2015, before the crash that killed Paul Wooten Jr.

Companies selling alcohol are not liable for injuries or damages caused by a drunken driver unless the driver was under 21 or they served "a person habitually addicted to the use of any or all alcoholic beverages."

"As a result of long-term alcohol use and abuse, Stone was able to consume large quantities of alcohol without demonstrating signs and symptoms of impairment," the lawsuit states.

Mark Sessums, lawyer for Corey Wooten, said bartenders at XYZ on South Florida Avenue near County Road 540A said that Stone was a frequent drinker at both establishments. Stone lived close to one of the bartenders at XYZ, Sessums said.

Sessums said bartenders at XYZ have said that Stone, who was also named in the lawsuit, had five drinks before leaving.

Wooten was riding a 2012 Honda motorcycle south on Bailey Road near Wells Road about 11:15 p.m. when a pickup driving directly behind him failed to slow or attempt to avoid the motorcycle, according to the Polk Sheriff's Office.

The truck struck Wooten’s bike from behind, and he was ejected from the motorcycle onto the road. The driver of the pickup continued south on Bailey Road without stopping, sheriff's deputies reported.

Stone was arrested two days later. He told deputies he fell asleep then felt an impact to the front of his truck, deputies reported. He said the next thing he remembered was waking up inside his home.

Stone faces charges of leaving the scene, a first-degree felony, and tampering with physical evidence, a third-degree felony. He told deputies during an interview that he repaired damage to the truck after the crash. He faces a maximum of 35 years in prison.

Jury selection in the criminal case is scheduled for Nov. 28.

An employee who answered the phone at American Legion said Stone wasn't there the night of the crash and hasn't been there in years.

Sherman Auger, owner of XYZ, said he only recently received the lawsuit. He said he's passed it on to an attorney.

Auger, who also owns a XYZ store on Memorial Boulevard, emphasized that a "high standard needs to be met for lawsuits like this to go through." He said the property where XYZ was once located on South Florida Avenue was sold earlier this year to a company that runs a gun range.

The lawsuit does not specify an amount that Corey Wooten is seeking other than medical and funeral expenses.

Two of the counts in the lawsuit are claims filed under Florida's Dram Shop Act, which passed in 1980. It allow for bars to be held liable under situations that result in death or injury from intoxication. A dram is a small alcoholic drink.

It's also hard to prove, Bartow lawyer John Liguori said.

Liguori said he represented a bar owner and bartender who were threatened with a lawsuit related to the Dram Shop Act. Liguori said he sent a copy of the statute to the opposing lawyer and it was dropped.

"I don't care if the guy comes in every day, how do you know if he is addicted?" Liguori said. "It works in favor of the owner."

via http://www.theledger.com/news/20161114/lawsuit-blames-xyz-bar-american-legion-for-2015-death-of-mulberry-motorcyclist

Friday, November 11, 2016

Husband sues drunk driver who killed trooper, bar that served him (Castle Rock, CO)

CASTLE ROCK - The husband of the Colorado State Trooper killed by a drunk driver in November 2015 while she was directing traffic on Interstate 25 near Castle Rock is suing the driver and the bar that served him alcohol, 9Wants To Know has learned.

In a wrongful death lawsuit filed in Douglas County District Court last month, the attorney for Didzis Jursevics, his young daughter and Trooper Jaimie Jursevics’ estate is seeking unspecified damages from driver Eric Henderson and Brooklyn’s at Invesco.

The suit alleges Henderson, who is from Payton, Colorado, broke a number of laws resulting in Jursevics’ death and that Brooklyn’s served a visibly drunk man. It’s unlawful to sell, serve or give alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person.

“We are honored to seek justice for Jaimie’s husband and daughter, who continue to fight for Jaimie as a wife, mother, and law enforcement officer who dedicated herself to the safety of the community and the State of Colorado,” Jursevics’ attorney Chris Hoffman said. “We hope this lawsuit will not only result in accountability, but also act as a reminder to everyone that drinking and driving has no place in our community and can have devastating consequences that change lives forever.”

According to court records, Henderson, a decorated Army Colonel, drank before, during and after a Broncos game on Nov. 15, 2015.

In June 2016, he pleaded guilty vehicular homicide and tampering with the evidence. He’s serving an eight-year prison sentence.

Henderson’s first of three blood tests showed a 0.150 BAC -- three times the level at which a driver is considered impaired and nearly twice the level at which a driver is considered intoxicated.

According to the civil lawsuit, Henderson’s friend brought a cooler with 20 or more beers, one water and two Pepsis with them to the game. Henderson drank before and during the game, wrapping up the night at Brooklyn’s, which is located near the football stadium.

The lawsuit says Henderson was “visibly intoxicated and displayed body language, behavior and speech consistent with significant alcohol intoxication. While at Brooklyn’s, Defendant Henderson was willfully and knowingly sold or served alcoholic beverages by Brooklyn’s employees while he was visibly intoxicated.”

Henderson left the bar and drove home on I-25. Court records say several drivers reported him to CSP, saying he was weaving and suspected he was drunk.

While Henderson was coming down I-25 after 8 p.m., the criminal and civil complaint says Trooper Jursevics was on the highway assisting another trooper with a crash.

Dispatch gave her the cell number for one driver following Henderson. Jursevics was on the phone with him while she was on the highway trying to direct Henderson to stop with her flashlight. One car prior to Henderson saw Jursevics, her flashlight and her lit-up patrol car and stopped. Henderson didn’t. He ran over Trooper Jursevics, drove around her body and left the scene, later trying to cover up the fact he was drinking, according to court records and court testimony.

In his District Court filing in the civil case, attorney for Jursevics says Henderson failed to “exercise reasonable care” in operating his car, drinking and driving, failing to obey Trooper Jursevics’ signals to pull over and stop.
9Wants To Know reached out to Brooklyn’s. They said they can’t make a comment at this time.

via http://www.9news.com/news/investigations/husband-sues-drunk-driver-that-killed-trooper-bar-that-served-him/350778678

Comments below by Steve Guidry

I've seen so many articles like this since I began this sales, safety, and security journey.  I first think about the venue my partners and I were a part of in St. Louis, Missouri from 2006-2014, The Outfield at Mike Shannon's...where 40,000+ people walked by our front doors on Cardinal home games 81 days a year, many of whom who stopped to enjoy a beer, cocktail, or shot before and after the ballgames.

The bottom line and the barrier we as operators must break through: WE absolutely have to make it a part of our culture...to hammer it through the staff's heads...in this case that when you probably see 500-1000+ people a day in your bar...it's ok to refuse 2-10 people, or more...at the door or at the bar.  This tiny group of intoxicated people that squeak past bar staff and or security, do nothing for your bottom line and usually cause more problems inside with good customers, and often will be the ones who end up starting fights.  We must teach our staff to be on the lookout for intoxicated customers and prevent them from even coming inside our venues...unfortunately for many staff that requires being confrontational and it's natural for employees to shy away from this if they aren't trained otherwise. 

Confrontation is not fun, but you must embrace it and put a plan in place...because it's what we signed up for!  You absolutely must have a plan in place, rehearse that plan, and teach people to get comfortable refusing entry or service customers...and to get comfortable doing it.  The key to success:  GET COMFORTABLE BEING UNCOMFORTABLE

I am confrontational weekly with customers out front of a venue that I still consult for...as I was the confrontation king at the front doors of our bars,  hell I have been for nearly seventeen years...I mean that's how I made my living for god sakes!  Make no mistake, we're in the business of "negotiating with drunks" I always tell people.  The difference between me and so many people I've seen in this business or whom I've worked with?  I was excellent at "stepping on people's shoes without messing up the shine" so to speak...very non-confrontational.  I was so excited about it matter of fact, that I decided I wanted to change our business for the better and I just finished a 694 page book that I converted into an incredible e-course on the topic (you can register at www.calmuniversity.com).

The key takeaway, this small group of visibly intoxicated people that arrive at our doorsteps daily and nightly, will do nothing for our bottom lines and will just cause problems for us in the venues or in lawsuits down the road...or maybe even cost a life or our business?  

It's a very sad story, the one above involving the trooper.  It's not the first and won't be the last.  

What's your plan?  #CALMbarsafety

Steve Guidry
Twitter: @steveguidry

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Shooting victim sues Mainstage club (Morgantown, WV)

MORGANTOWN — The shooting victim at a downtown Morgantown nightclub has filed a new lawsuit against the establishment.

Last month, Dorian Banks, 26, filed suit against TNT WV LLC, which does business as Mainstage Morgantown. The shooter, listed as John Doe, was also named as a defendant. Banks’ daughter was also named as a plaintiff in the case.

Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston said they are still investigating the shooting and there have been no arrests in the incident.

According to the filing: Banks was at a concert at Mainstage Morgantown in September when he was shot following an altercation.

The filing alleges that Mainstage was negligent in its hiring and failed to monitor and supervise employees. That included a pre-concert security plan, concert security, removing people involved in a fight, crowd control, security checks and other measures.

via http://www.dominionpost.com/11-2-16-Mainstage-Lawsuit-ah-pq