Saturday, December 31, 2016

Victim shot, stabbed in Sports On Tap attack filing civil lawsuit (Rochester, NY)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - One of the men who was shot and stabbed outside of a bar in Charlotte said Friday he is filing a lawsuit against the business.

Police arrested Flor Rivera and Heriberto Rivera-Mateo for a violent fight outside Sports On Tap bar earlier this month.

Three people were stabbed in the fight; one of those three, 31-year-old Keith Larkin, was also shot.

Police said Scott Richardson, 27, Melanie Christmas, 40, were treated and released from the hospital.

Larkin is filing a civil lawsuit against Sports On Tap.

"I believe that, based on my investigation, they are liable for having an unruly premises allowing individual in the premises with weapons knives and guns, inadequate security and so forth," said Vincent Merante, Larkin's attorney.

Merante said Larkin was released for the hospital, but had to be readmitted due to an infection.

The New York State Liquor Authority is in the process of filing violations against Sports On Tap.

Last week, Rivera and Rivera-Mateo were indicted by a Monroe County grand jury on attempted murder and assault charges.

via http://13wham.com/news/local/victim-shot-stabbed-in-sports-on-tap-attack-filing-civil-lawsuit


Quick thoughts from Steve:  Fights can happen everywhere, the three questions I always ask myself:   Was their a history of altercations and or bad business practices that the city was aware of?  Did they do anything to prevent this incident from brewing or occurring or was it quick to develop?  And the million dollar question, what was your plan?  

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Family of man killed in crash sues bar that served drunk driver, DOT (Santa Fe, NM)

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The family of a young man killed in September in Santa Fe by a woman drunkenly driving the wrong way on I-25 is suing the bar that served her, along with the state’s Department of Transportation.
Read the full lawsuit here »

It was a horrific crash. Anton Gress, 23, became trapped in his burning vehicle. Deputies say he had been hit by 44-year-old Clara Avina, who had been drinking and driving. Avina reportedly merged onto the interstate going the wrong way and collided with Gress’ vehicle. Both were killed.

KRQE News 13 has learned Gress’ family is now suing multiple people for their alleged responsibility in the crash that late September night.

The suit targets PC’s Restaurant and Lounge, where Avina consumed alcohol before the crash. It says the employees at PC’s should have never served Avina because she was obviously intoxicated when she entered the lounge.

It also says the PC’s staff shouldn’t have allowed another customer, who did not know Avina personally and had also been drinking, to take her car keys.

The lawsuit goes on to name the Department of Transportation, citing a lack of safety precautions to keep drivers from going the wrong way on the interstate in the area where the crash happened.

It says numerous similar crashes on that stretch of the freeway over the last 10 years should have prompted the DOT to make changes.

Even Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales recently pointed out the recurring problem and asked the DOT to do something to try and fix it.

The DOT sent the statement in response to the lawsuit:

Our number one priority is keeping our families safe on our roads, and that is a duty we take seriously. After this tragic crash, we deployed a team to several ramps in the Santa Fe area to make sure the interchanges were designed, signed, and striped properly. In addition, we also found ways to make them safer. Already, we’ve placed more “Do Not Enter” and “Wrong Way” signs, as well as reapplied the paint striping and pavement reflectors at the U.S. 285 interchange. And we plan to do the same at other ramps in the area. In addition, we will also continue our efforts to educate New Mexicans on the dangers of drunk driving.”

All signs indicated PC’s was supposed to be open Tuesday, but no one was there. A call to PC’s went unanswered as the phone only rang and never went to voicemail.

The Gress family lawsuit also largely focuses on insurance claim issues, naming Liberty Mutual and Progressive Direct.

Gress’ family and attorneys were unavailable for comment.


via http://krqe.com/2016/12/27/family-of-man-killed-sues-bar-that-served-drunk-driver-dot/

Quick thoughts from Steve:  How can you hold a venue accountable for actions that happened after they left, when they weren't driving?  Was she over served?  It sounds like it. But how can you hold the bar accountable for actions after she left, when she wasn't driving when she left? 

I've been down this path before with one of my first companies...I was told in 2002 that we had never lost one of these types of lawsuits (because they don't correlate, they don't match up) according to our head of legal.  Keep in mind, we had over 50+ different bars and nightclubs at one time...so imagine the lawsuits that floated around that legal office. 


Obviously we need to hear more, but it's not like she was driving when she left, so I would blame the man.  Attorneys always look for any insurance policies available when trying to collect money for families...it's their job. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Eva Longoria's Hollywood restaurant sued by patron 'beaten up by security at movie after-party' (Los Angeles, CA)

Eva Longoria's Hollywood restaurant Beso has been hit with a lawsuit over an alleged assault that took place there earlier this year.

Michael Paul Flores filed legal documents in Los Angeles claiming he'd been beaten up by a member of the eatery's security staff while attending a movie after-party in June.

The actress has not been named in the lawsuit, TMZ said.

Eva Longoria's restaurant Beso is being sued by Michael Paul Flores after he claims he was assaulted by a security staffer during a post-premiere party in June. Longoria is pictured arriving at the event for her movie Lowriders. She is not named in the suit, TMZ reported.

The actress, 41, opened the Latin eatery on Hollywood Boulevard in 2008

According to TMZ Wednesday, Flores alleged he was struck him in the mouth, face and head multiple times before the assailant fled the joint, and that staff admitted his attacker worked there and was prone to violence.

Flores was at Beso to party following the screening of the movie Lowriders that starred Longoria.

According to the filing, Flores asserts that the restaurant should have been prepared for violence since the film 'dealt with the lowrider subculture of East Los Angeles.'

He also claims producers hired actors for the movie from car clubs that had rival gang ties.



Not a care in the world: Eva Longoria is currently enjoying a beach vacation in Mexico and shared this bikini snap on social media Tuesday

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-4055902/Eva-Longoria-s-Hollywood-restaurant-sued-patron-beaten-security-movie-party.html#ixzz4TV97UvA2

Friday, December 16, 2016

Family files suit against suspect, bar (Morgantown, WV)

MORGANTOWN — The family of a girl killed in a hit-and-run filed suit against her accused killer and the establishment where he drank before driving.

This week, Brent Sears filed a lawsuit against Alexander Salvatore Hambrick. The suit also names, DC LLC, which does business as Jameson’s Annex, the business owner Michael S. Shuman and property owner Thomas H. VanLandingham as defendants.

A grand jury previously indicted Hambrick, 20, with leaving the scene of an accident with death and DUI with death. Police say in January 2016, Hambrick was driving his vehicle when he went onto the Stewart Street sidewalk.

There, he struck Carli Sears, 20, who was in Morgantown visiting friends. Sears died as a result of her injuries. Brent Sears is Carli’s father.

The suit alleges negligence by Hambrick who had a responsibility to not drive while intoxicated. He was reckless and caused his truck to violently collide with Sears.

The other defendants had a duty to provide care in running their establishment, according to the filing. They also failed to exercise care when they served to someone under 21 years old and at the point of intoxication.

Hambrick’s and the bar’s actions directly led to the death of Sears, the suit states.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

'Big Ang's' estate sued for $1 million over punching death outside bar (Staten Island, NY)

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The death of a 46-year-old Elm Park man fatally punched outside the West Brighton bar then affiliated with the late reality-TV star Angela "Big Ang" Raiola of Mob Wives fame, has spawned a $1 million wrongful-death lawsuit.

Thierno Cisse, as temporary administrator of the estate of Abdou Salam Cisse, has sued Raiola's estate; Stephen Fasano, the Midland Beach man convicted of throwing the deadly punch; and SallyAnn Lombardi, Raiola's cousin who held the tavern's liquor license, stemming from June 8, 2014 incident outside the former Drunken Monkey bar on Forest Avenue.

Besides wrongful death, the three-page legal filing alleges liability under the Dram Shop Act.

The Dram Shop law holds establishments that sell alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person responsible for damages or injuries that person subsequently causes.

The suit was filed in state Supreme Court, St. George.

"The family is devastated," said Obayomi Awoyinfa, the Queens-based lawyer for Cisse's estate. "They believe they should be compensated for the defendants' negligence."

Lombardi and Raquel Scotto, listed in the lawsuit as the executor of Raiola's estate, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Authorities said Abdou Salam Cisse lost his life while trying to act as a peacemaker.

Cisse was trying to calm down Fasano outside the bar, around 3:30 a.m., after a dispute inside that Fasano and a friend had with another man. Fasano, who stood 6-feet, 1-inch tall and weighed 175 pounds, responded by punching Cisse in the face, said officials.

Cisse was knocked to the ground, fracturing his skull in the fall, and causing bleeding in his brain, said prosecutors.

In November 2014, Fasano, now 25, pleaded guilty in state Supreme Court, St. George, to second-degree manslaughter, the top count against him. In doing so, he admitted to recklessly causing Cisse's death.

Fasano, who is currently serving a prison sentence of three to nine years in Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus, N.Y., expressed remorse at his sentencing.

"I'm very sorry to the family," Advance reports quoted him as saying. "It was not intentional at all ... To everyone, I'm sorry."

Awoyinfa, the lawyer, contended the bar "should not have been operating" when Cisse was killed.

"It was an illegal sale," he said. "The bar was owned by someone convicted of a crime and should not have served alcohol. That's why we believe they should be held responsible."

According to Advance reports, the State Liquor Authority ordered the Drunken Monkey's liquor license cancelled as of March 6, 2015.

A probe determined Raiola, a convicted felon, was the bar's silent owner, the Advance learned.

Raiola had pleaded guilty in 2003 to a felony in a federal drug-distribution case and could not own a bar without special permission from the state, an SLA official said. She never applied to be on the license, the official said.

Lombardi, her cousin, was listed in public records as the liquor license holder.

Nevertheless, Raiola was listed as a signatory in a bank account affiliated with the bar, and she was given power of attorney over the place, according to information obtained by the Advance about the SLA's investigation.

Lombardi told the SLA she was the bar's sole owner, but got into a car crash in 2009 and allowed Raiola to operate the bar thereafter, giving her signatory authority and power of attorney, according to the findings of the investigation.

The SLA charged the bar with "availing," which means a liquor license holder has allowed a third party to use or profit from the license. It was also charged with "improper conduct" for Raiola's business interest in the tavern.

Lombardi asked the SLA to reconsider the cancellation, but the agency denied the request.

Later, in January of this year, the watering hole reopened as the Funkey Monkey under new ownership and liquor license holder.

Raiola attended the grand opening about a month before succumbing to lung cancer at age 55.

For more videos related to Big Ang, see our YouTube playlist below.


via http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/12/big_angs_estate_sued_for_1_mil.html

Brother of man killed outside Halifax bar added to lawsuit launched by parents (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

The brother of a man killed outside a downtown Halifax bar in 2011 has been added to a lawsuit launched by his parents at the request of the Toothy Moose cabaret and the man who admitted to delivering the fatal blow.

The Argyle Street bar and Jason Whitehead petitioned the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia to add Daniel Mattatall to the lawsuit last year. The court approved the addition Dec. 7.

Originally, the suit named only the bar and Whitehead, who pleaded guilty in October 2014 to manslaughter in the death of James Mattatall and was sentenced to three years in prison.

During Whitehead's sentencing, the court heard James Mattatall, 23, was punched in the jaw after trying to prevent a fight between his brother Daniel Mattatall and Whitehead outside the bar on Dec. 17, 2011. James Mattatall of Dartmouth was knocked to the ground where he hit the back of his head and died of blunt force trauma.
Parents say bar failed their son before his death

Legal action against the Toothy Moose and Whitehead was filed by the victim's parents on Dec. 24, 2014.


James Mattatall was killed on Argyle Street after an early morning fight outside the Toothy Moose bar. (CBC)

Lawyers for the parents and Daniel Mattatall could not be reached for comment. But in a letter to the Supreme Court dated Sept. 28, the parents' lawyer, Trevor Wadden, said his "clients take no position on this motion."

In their notice of action, the parents said the Toothy Moose breached its duty of care to their son James "in that it failed to take appropriate steps to ensure he was not assaulted or placed in a situation of foreseeable harm, while on or leaving the defendant's property."

Specifically, Mattatall's parents said the Toothy Moose failed to "recognize foreseeable harm in that Daniel and Jason were clearly intoxicated, as observed by video surveillance."
Funeral and legal costs sought

The notice of action said the two men should have been escorted to separate areas outside of the bar's property and given "sufficient time of separation" to ensure they "would not continue their altercation in front of the property." It also said negligence on the bar's part ultimately caused or "materially contributed" to James Mattatall's death.

The parents, who want funeral and legal costs covered, are also suing for general aggravated damages.
Case to add Daniel Mattatall to lawsuit

Both the Toothy Moose and Whitehead petitioned to add Daniel Mattatall to the lawsuit.

Whitehead, in a statement of defence dated Oct. 23, 2015, said Daniel Mattatall started the altercation that led to James Mattatall's death. He said Daniel Mattatall assaulted him by throwing a beer mug, "striking him without rational reason, legal excuse or justification."

The statement said Whitehead didn't know the brothers before the incident.

It said when Whitehead asked Daniel Mattatall why he threw the mug, he responded with words "to the effect of 'because I f---ing wanted to.'" It was then Whitehead said the two were asked to leave the bar.
Whitehead's defence

According to the statement of defence, Whitehead said Daniel Mattatall taunted him and made gestures outside the bar, causing him to believe the Mattatall brothers were threatening to attack him or challenging him to a fight.

The document said that when Whitehead approached the brothers, they each raised their fists as if to fight. It said that's when Whitehead struck James Mattatall.

Whitehead said if the parents "suffered any injury, loss or damage ... then such was caused or contributed to by the actions and/or negligence and/or contributory negligence" of the brothers.


Jason William Whitehead pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the December 2011 death of James Philip Mattatall.

Whitehead wants the parents to drop their suit against him, with costs.

Furthermore, Whitehead said in a statement of cross-claim dated Oct. 23, 2015 that the Toothy Moose not only let himself and the brothers into the bar knowing they were all intoxicated, but continued to serve them drinks once inside. He said continuing to serve liquor was in violation of the Liquor Control Act.
Toothy Moose's defence

In its statement of defence filed Nov. 12, 2015, the Toothy Moose denied it was responsible for any part of James Mattatall's death, saying the acts happened outside its premises.

The statement said James Mattatall placed himself in a dangerous or careless situation and failed to take reasonable care for his own safety. The bar also said James Mattatall consented to his interaction with Whitehead.

The bar has also denied allegations that it over-served the brothers and Whitehead.
Daniel Mattatall's defence

In his statement of defence dated Nov. 18, 2015, Daniel Mattatall denied engaging aggressively with Whitehead.

The document goes on to say that had Daniel Mattatall "assaulted, acted aggressively towards, taunted, provoked or physically challenged the defendant ... such actions did not justify the defendant, Jason William Whitehead, from committing a sudden assault and battery upon James Mattatall."

It also said Daniel Mattatall denies owing any duty of care to his brother and that if he did, he denies breaching that duty.

Daniel Mattatall is seeking to have the action against him dropped.


via http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/james-mattatall-daniel-toothy-moose-james-whitehead-1.3892874

Drunken driver, Junction City bar sued by crash victim’s father (Junction City, OR)

The father of a Junction City man killed last year in a high-speed, drunken-­driving wreck has filed a $4.6 million lawsuit against the driver who caused the crash, the driver’s employer and the tavern where the victim and driver had met on the night of the collision.

Gary Barnett’s suit against Lee Volgardsen, Telgian Corp. and Bugsy’s Inc. was filed Tuesday afternoon in Lane County Circuit Court.

Barnett’s 29-year-old son, William Thomas Barnett, died Nov. 25, 2015, when a car driven by Volgardsen crashed into a utility pole off Washburn Lane, west of Junction City. Authorities said the car was traveling much faster than 100 mph just before the collision.

Volgardsen, 41, of Eugene was sentenced to more than seven years in prison after pleading guilty in January to charges of second-degree manslaughter, failure to perform the duties of a driver to an injured person and driving under the influence of intoxicants.

William Barnett and Volgardsen were strangers before the night of the wreck, when they crossed paths at Bugsy’s, a tavern in Junction City. Authorities said surveillance video shows the men leaving the bar together shortly before the crash.

Gary Barnett’s lawsuit alleges that Bugsy’s employees served alcohol to Volgardsen when he was visibly intoxicated, and that they knew or should have known that Volgardsen planned to drive away from the bar. The tavern’s alleged negligence put William Barnett in harm’s way and “was a substantial factor in causing his injury and death,” the suit alleges.

Gary Barnett also is asserting negligence and wrongful death claims against Volgardsen and his then-employer, Telgian Corp., a fire protection consulting firm based in Arizona.

The lawsuit alleges that Telgian “provided” Volgardsen with the 2016 Dodge Charger involved in the crash. Authorities previously said the car had been rented for use by Volgardsen.

Officials with Bugsy’s and Telgian could not be reached Wednesday morning for comment on the lawsuit.

After the crash, Volgardsen fled the scene and ran three miles to his girlfriend’s residence.

Authorities tracked down Volgardsen there hours later, and he admitted to them that he had crashed the car after drinking a fifth of rum and multiple beers, a prosecutor said at the Eugene man’s sentencing hearing.

Volgardsen’s blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.04 percent nine hours after the crash, the prosecutor said. Oregon law presumes a driver is under the influence if his BAC is 0.08 percent.

State police recovered a data recorder from the vehicle that showed its speed was 117 miles an hour seconds before the crash.

Gary Barnett said at Volgardsen’s sentencing hearing that he doesn’t know why his son got into the car with Volgardsen.

He said William Barnett had in the past walked home from the bar, and that his son “hated hot rodding.”

William Barnett was a 2004 graduate of Junction City High School who later worked for the University of Oregon’s athletic department and as an independent landscaper, according to his obituary.

The lawsuit filed by his father is the second this month in Lane County in which a member of a traffic crash victim’s family has sued not only the driver responsible for a wreck but also a tavern at which a driver allegedly had been drinking before a collision.

Last Wednesday, Springfield resident Julio Ortiz Ahumada filed a $3.9 million lawsuit against Isabel McDaniel of Veneta and the Keg Tavern in Eugene.

The suit alleges that the tavern served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated McDaniel before her vehicle struck him and his father as they crossed Main Street in Springfield on Dec. 11, 2014.

McDaniel, 32, was sentenced to nearly eight years in prison after pleading guilty in January to eight charges, including intoxicated driving and criminally negligent homicide, in the death of 67-year-old Daniel Ortiz-Reynaga.

Prosecutors said evidence in the case showed Ortiz-Reynaga and his son were crossing the street against a red light when they were struck by McDaniel’s station wagon.

The impact of the crash flipped Ortiz-Reynaga onto the top of McDaniel’s vehicle. She drove 11 blocks before dumping Ortiz-Reynaga — who died of his injuries — along a side road.

via http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/35089624-75/drunk-driver-junction-city-tavern-sued-by-crash-victims-father.html.csp#

Monday, December 12, 2016

Columbia bar files lawsuit over shared door access (Columbia, MO)

COLUMBIA, Mo. - A bar in downtown Columbia is suing its neighbor over access to a shared door the bar uses as an emergency exit.
The lawsuit, filed by Harpo's on South Tenth Street, claims the owner of the property near it, Varose, LLC, blocked access to two doors, by building a concrete wall and the main stairwell on or around November 17, creating a breach of contract to the agreed upon easement from 2010.

This act also keeps Harpo's from meeting city safety codes. According to court documents, the city required the owner to stop using a "substantial portion" of their property until access is restored.

The Columbia Fire Department was aware that the property had some violations prior, which prompted them to inspect the property.

ABC 17 News got a hold of the Columbia Fire Department's inspection report. It said the emergency exit door was locked, there was no mention of a concrete wall being built.

The city told ABC 17 News the owners of Harpo's had to close Ten Below, a business they also own and operate in the same building. ABC 17 News called Harpo's and confirmed that Ten Below will remain closed.

According to the fire department Harpo's is working on building a new emergency exit to be in compliance with the safety codes.The city also said the property owner next to Harpo's apparently received complaints from its tenant about the door being used for more than just emergencies.

The lawsuit claims Harpo's has suffered a loss of revenue by not being allowed to use a significant portion of its property.

ABC 17 News called Harpo's for a comment on the lawsuit Tuesday, they had no comment. ABC 17 News also reached out to the attorney for Varose, who also said the company had no comment.

via http://www.abc17news.com/news/bar-sues-neighbor-over-shared-door-access/207652774

Friday, December 9, 2016

$3.9 million wrongful death lawsuit filed against Eugene tavern in 2014 hit-and-run (Eugene, OR)

A Springfield man has filed a $3.9 million, wrongful death lawsuit against a local tavern and a woman who struck and killed his father two years ago in a bizarre hit-and-run case.

Julio C. Ortiz Ahumada alleges in the lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Lane County Circuit Court, that the Keg Tavern in Eugene served alcohol to a “visibly intoxicated” Isabel McDaniel before her vehicle struck him and his father as they crossed Main Street in Springfield on Dec. 11, 2014.


McDaniel, 32, of Veneta was sentenced to nearly eight years in prison after pleading guilty in January to eight charges, including intoxicated driving and criminally negligent homicide, in the death of Daniel Ortiz-Reynaga, 67.

Prosecutors said evidence in the case showed Ortiz-Reynaga and his son were crossing the street against a red light when they were struck by McDaniel’s station wagon.

The impact of the crash flipped Ortiz-Reynaga onto the top of McDaniel’s vehicle. She drove 11 blocks before dumping Ortiz-Reynaga — who died of his injuries — along a side road.

Ortiz-Reynaga’s son required surgery for the injuries he suffered in the incident, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit accuses McDaniel of negligence, for driving while intoxicated and failing to control her vehicle, and says The Keg’s employees were negligent in serving alcohol to McDaniel “when she was visibly intoxicated, under circumstances when they knew or had reason to know that defendant McDaniel was likely to operate a motor vehicle.”


The Keg’s owner, Chris Coleman, declined to comment when reached Thursday by telephone.

Mark McDougal, of the Portland law firm Kafoury & McDougal that represents Ortiz Ahumada in the lawsuit, said Thursday that criminal charges “are never brought against the bars in these situations” but that “one might conclude (McDaniel) was overserved” based on her actions.

Prosecutors said that evidence in the case showed McDaniel had been drinking at the west Eugene bar before she returned to her Veneta home, picked up her 17-year-old niece, and drove back toward Eugene.

A short time later, McDaniel’s Honda Civic station wagon collided with another vehicle near the intersection of West 11th Avenue and Willow Creek Road. McDaniel drove away from the fender-bender, then 25 minutes later struck Ortiz-Reynaga and his adult son as they walked across the intersection of Main and 54th streets in Springfield.

Ortiz-Reynaga lived in Mexico and was in Springfield to visit his son when the crash occurred.

The collision knocked Ortiz-Reynaga into the Civic’s windshield and then onto a luggage rack on the car’s roof. McDaniel then drove more than a mile with the victim atop her vehicle before turning onto Smith Way, off 42nd Street, and removing Ortiz-Reynaga from the car.

She then drove to her husband’s nearby workplace. He hid the Civic, drove his wife home in another vehicle and later used a trailer to take McDaniel’s car back to the family’s Veneta home, authorities said.

Police found Ortiz-Reynaga lying in the road on Smith Way after someone called 911 to report seeing a body there. Medics took Ortiz-Reynaga to PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield, where he was pronounced dead.

Acting on multiple tips after requesting the public’s help to identify the hit-and-run driver, police went to the McDaniels’ home two days after the collision. Isabel McDaniel was arrested and her husband, Gary McDaniel, was issued a citation for tampering with evidence, a misdemeanor.

Gary McDaniel was sentenced to four months in prison after pleading guilty in February to an evidence tampering charge. He told police that he tried to rinse blood from the station wagon before he parked it in his garage, according to an investigator’s affidavit filed in court.

via http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/35070767-75/3.9m-wrongful-death-suit-filed-against-eugene-tavern-in-2014-hit-and-run.csp

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Man punched by off-duty officer at Portillo's files suit alleging cover-up (Chicago, IL)

Terrence Clarke and his family were celebrating the Blackhawks' 2015 Stanley Cup win with burgers at Portillo's when a burly security guard approached their table and told them to leave.

It was nearly midnight, and Clarke said he told the man, an off-duty Chicago police officer, that he would go once his wife and son finished their food. What started as a verbal encounter, however, quickly turned violent when the officer removed their food and repeatedly punched the Canadian patron, according to video taken of the incident.

A year and half after the altercation at the River North restaurant, Clarke on Wednesday filed a lawsuit accusing Officer Khaled Shaar of instigating the fight, making false statements to get him arrested and covering up his excessive use of force with the help of other officers.

The lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges that the Portillo's manager made false statements and that four responding officers conspired to stop further investigation and protect Shaar.

Speaking at his attorney's office with his wife, Gail, by his side, Clarke, now 61, said the incident eroded his trust in authority. Pointing to a scar over his right eyebrow left by the blows, the businessman and former Chicago resident said it was his first hostile encounter with a cop.

"(Shaar) needs to be prosecuted; he's unfit to be a police officer and he's a menace to other police officers who have to cover up for him," Clarke said. "The city of Chicago needs to stop its policy of overcharging the victims of police brutality with felonies to cover up the criminal acts of the officers."


Terrence Clarke was beaten by off duty Chicago Police Officer Khaled Shaar at a Portillo’s Hot Dogs June 16, 2016, in River North. Shaar was working security for the restaurant and began verbally and physically attacking Clarke according to Clarke's attorney. (Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune)

The lawsuit alleges that Shaar, who has at least 15 police misconduct complaints against him since June 2007, placed his handcuffs over his right hand as "brass knuckles" to intensify his punch. Clarke was arrested on felony charges of aggravated battery on an officer, which prosecutors later dropped, court records show. A judge found him guilty of disorderly conduct during a bench trial and sentenced him to supervision.

Reached on his cellphone Wednesday, Shaar said he could not comment because of an investigation by the Independent Police Review Authority into the June 15, 2015, incident.

Shaar was stripped of his police powers pending the outcome of the IPRA investigation, according to police spokesman Frank Giancamilli.

Giancamilli would not answer questions about whether the agency is investigating the allegations of a cover-up by the four responding officers, who are also named in the suit.



Video released by IPRA shows an altercation between Chicago Police Officer Khaled Shaar and 59-year-old Terrence Clarke at Portillo's on June 16, 2015.

Mia Sissac, a spokeswoman for IPRA, said the investigation into Shaar is ongoing. The case was reassigned after the investigator left the agency, she said.

The city released some videos of the incident in June as part of a data dump of cases IPRA has investigated.

In Portillo's surveillance cameras and cellphone videos, Shaar paces around the Clarkes' table, leans in to talk with them and removes an item from the table.

Shaar then called 911 and reported that he needed more officers because Clarke was being belligerent and swearing and threw something at him, according to a recording of the call.

A struggle ensued after Shaar, still talking on his cellphone, reached down to grab Clarke's wrist. The 6-foot-2 Clarke stood up, pushing Shaar, who hit Clarke in the face at least seven times. By the end of the fight, blood was pouring from Clarke's face, and he would later need stitches.

Shaar wrote in a police report that Clarke struck him with a chair, punched him and threw a cup of cheese at him. Clarke disputes fighting back against the officer.

Clarke appears to throw something in the Portillo's surveillance video, which doesn't have audio. His attorney, Kevin O'Reilly, said Clarke flung something toward the officer when he took his food away.

"Officer Shaar was swearing and using profanity during the incident. Mr. Clarke was using profanity, but come on, swearing does not warrant being punched in the head repeatedly with handcuffs," O'Reilly said Wednesday.

Two customers called 911 as the encounter escalated. One man told dispatchers that Clarke was "resisting arrest." A woman, however, said Shaar assaulted Clarke first.

The lawsuit also lists Portillo's Hot Dogs LLC and the security firm that contracts with the company as defendants.

Shaar has been named in at least two federal lawsuits since 2008. One was settled for an undisclosed amount of money over a road-rage incident in which Shaar pistol-whipped another driver and screamed profanities at him, court records show. Shaar also punched the man, held the gun to his head and didn't identify himself as a police officer, according to the complaint.

O'Reilly called for a criminal investigation into Shaar, saying the latest incident involving Clarke should spawn aggravated battery and perjury charges.

Clarke "was acting professionally under the circumstances, but he was being singled out," O'Reilly said. "It was out of line for Khaled Shaar to come up to him and act in that manner."


via http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-police-portillos-lawsuit-met-20161207-story.html

Matt Barnes & Demarcus Cousins Sued Over Nightclub Brawl (NY, NY)

Matt Barnes and DeMarcus Cousins have just been SUED over the nightclub brawl at Avenue in NYC this week ... with the alleged victims claiming they were brutalized by the NBA stars.

TMZ Sports broke the story ... the Sacramento Kings teammates were involved in a violent altercation with two people at the VIP booth next to them around 3 AM on Dec. 5.

According to the lawsuit filed in NYC, Jasmine Besiso and Myrone Powell claim they were innocently hanging out when Barnes approached Jasmine and began to choke her.

In the suit, Powell says he saw the attack and tried to intervene but that's when Cousins stepped in and punched him in the face.

At that point, Barnes allegedly released Jasmine's neck and elbowed her in the face -- knocking her unconscious. Myrone claims he was taken to the ground and Barnes and Cousins proceeded to kick and punch him in the head and body.

The NYPD was called to the scene but Barnes and Cousins had left by the time they arrived.

A rep for the alleged victims calls the incident a "vicious and unprovoked attack" And says Cousins' initial blow was a "blindside punch."

The rep also says the two were transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital where they were treated for "serious injuries."

A rep for Barnes has previously told us that the NBA stars were the real victims -- who were attacked by the other clubgoers over an accidental bump in the VIP section.

TMZ Sports obtained video of Barnes and Cousins in the moments after the fight -- rehashing their version of what happened inside.


via http://www.tmz.com/2016/12/07/matt-barnes-and-demarcus-cousins-sued-over-nightclub-brawl-vicious-and-unprovoked-attack/

A Brief Commentary from Steve Guidry...

Rest assured, if the lawsuit continues, I would almost bet that the nightclub's security procedures will be in question...and the venue will get attached to the lawsuit as well.  If there is an insurance policy and they are suing, I would almost guarantee they will be next!