Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Man Assaulted Outside Five Points Bar Files Lawsuit

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A man who police say was assaulted outside a bar in Columbia's Five Points is now suing the business as well as its owner.

Court records show Ryan Chisholm has filed the suit against the Pour House and Daniel Wells, who's been identified as the owner. Chisholm, who is also a USC student. is being represented by attorney Justin Bamberg, who's also a state senator.

The suit also lists DHW Purchasing Group and Wells Fargo Bank National as defendants.

Back on March 19th, Columbia police say Wells put 22-year-old Ryan Chisholm in a chokehold outside the Pour House. Chisholm lost consciousness, and police say Wells then threw the victim to the ground.

The force of the collision caused Chisholm to lose several teeth and suffer a broken jaw. The victim has since been released from the hospital, but is still receiving medical treatment.

The incident was captured on cell phone video that's been widely circulated on the internet.

Wells was arrested and charged in the incident, and was released on bond. Police have not determined a motive in the incident.

In addition to address the specific incident, the lawsuit also claims discrimination against patrons.

Earlier this month, Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook met with Wells and his attorney regarding the possible revocation of the business license for “The Pour House." Previous Coverage: Future of Five Points Bar Unresolved After Meeting

Police say the informal meeting was "productive and informative" and was not adversarial, and that no final decision had been made.

Columbia police had deemed the business a public nuisance, after they say they responded to more than 20 incidents at the bar since July of 2016.


San Simeon bar sued after flaming drink burns man

A San Simeon bar is under legal fire after a patron claimed he was burned and severely injured by a flaming drink, according to a recently filed lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed in SLO County Superior Court April 18, alleges that the San Simeon Beach Bar & Grill failed to act responsibly when one of its bartenders served the plaintiff, Alex Du, an alcoholic beverage that was lit on fire.

SLO-based attorney Steven Roberts said Du was vacationing in San Simeon at the time of the incident. Roberts said that the bartender lit the tequila-based drink and served it to Du. When Du attempted to drink it, the drink spilled, burning Du’s face and neck.

“Alcohol is flammable, so when it gets on your skin, it continues to burn,” Roberts told New Times. “It’s dangerous.”

Roberts said that Du suffered second-and third-degree burns on his face and neck, and was treated at a hospital for his injuries.

Roberts said he did not believe that the flaming drink was part of the bar’s regular menu. A menu on the bar’s website does not list what alcoholic beverages the establishment serves, flaming or otherwise. The San Simeon Beach Bar & Grill did not respond to a request for comment from New Times about the lawsuit.

Du isn’t the first person to suffer burns from flaming alcohol. In January, a California woman was rushed to the hospital after suffering burns to her face and hair in a Santa Ana Bar. According to news coverage of the accident, the injury occurred after a bartender attempted a trick that included pouring alcohol onto the bar and lighting it on fire. In 2006, two women were injured in a Miami nightclub during a similar incident involving Bacardi’s high-proof 151 rum. Both women sued the Bacardi company, claiming the liquor was a dangerous and defective product.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Family Suing After Fatal Cameo Nightclub Shooting

CINCINNATI, OH - Attorneys for the family of an Ohio nightclub shooting victim say they want those responsible for their loved one's death held accountable.

You should be able to go and have a birthday drink without getting killed, you should be able to," says Raquel Mitchell.

O'Bryan Spikes' mom says he was planning to come home early from Cameo nightclub, and go with her to church in the morning.

Now, she is raising his 5-year-old son and helping his two sisters raise his two young daughters.

"He was our man, he was, it was us girls and he took care of him and he was everything for us," Raquel Mitchell says.

Spikes was the first victim in the Cameo shooting last month.

Shot just once, he died inside.

Prosecutor Joe Deters says he wasn't a target.

Tonight, his family attorney is targeting nightclub operator Julian Jay Rodgers, citing Cameo's troubled history.

"I don't think that there's any question," attorney Chris Finney says. "I think that Julian Rodgers as a nightclub operator for many years has been a problem in this community."

We reached out to Rodgers through a spokesperson today.

Finney says he believes what witnesses told us later that day, that for a fee, people could get in and bypass some security.

He says he is starting an investigation, which may result in a lawsuit against Rodgers, the shooters inside and even Cincinnati Police.

"There was a very troubling interaction between the police and the nightclub operator that obviously resulted in the greatest tragedy in the country so far this year," Finney says.

The city and department declined to comment on any pending lawsuit.

Union President, Sgt. Dan Hils told me over the phone today, quote, 'We were just there for presence. We are not doormen, We are not bouncers, We weren't letting guns in. Their guys might have been but not ours. That doesn't make sense.:

There's not much about March 26 that makes sense, period.

"If anybody saw something or if anybody knows something to say something," says Raquice Mitchell, O'Bryan Spikes' sister. "We're not just fighting for justice for my brother or our relative, we're fighting for justice for all victims.

The lawsuit has not been filed yet and the family's attorney says there's no timeline for it.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Lawsuit targets restaurant in fatal accident

A local bar is facing legal questions for serving alcohol to a customer prior to a fatal accident last year.

Uncle D’s Sports Bar and Grill, a limited liability company, and owners DeWayne A. Leer and Mary Leer, are defendants in a 2017 wrongful death lawsuit. The bar is alleged to have knowingly served alcohol to a visibly intoxicated woman with knowledge that this individual would be driving.

The defendants filed a legal response denying many of the allegations in the lawsuit.

The civil lawsuit was filed by Bart Watts and Amy Riddick, who lost their 21-year-old son Corbin Watts on April 10, 2016. The young man was hiking north along the shoulder of Interstate 229 when he was struck and killed by a Ford Fusion traveling in excess of 110 mph.

Jacey Grom admitted she had been driving the car after drinking at Uncle D’s Sports Bar and Grill. She’s currently serving a 12-year sentence for first-degree involuntary manslaughter with a requirement to complete 85 percent of the sentence before she becomes eligible to be considered for parole.

Corbin’s parents have hired Michael Taylor with Murphy, Taylor, Siemens and Elliott to represent them in this wrongful death lawsuit against the local bar and grill.

The Leers have hired Kate B. McKinney with Martin, Pringle, Oliver, Wallace and Bauer, an Overland Park, Kansas, law firm to defend them.

The defendants will have a hearing on Wednesday, May 17, before Buchanan County Circuit Judge Daniel Kellogg to review their motion to dismiss the civil lawsuit.

Kellogg already has set the case for trial in January, 2018.

Grom is the other defendant in the case. She’s alleged to have been driving while intoxicated, at an excessive speed, on the wrong side of the road. The lawsuit claims Grom’s actions led to the death of Watts.

DeWayne Leer didn’t return a call from News-Press Now on Monday.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Actor Disfigured in Darien Bar Fight

DARIEN, CT — A Darien actor is suing Chez Ernie's bar along with a man who reportedly assaulted him in December.

Matthew Porretta, 51, was struck by a glass mug in the head by Norwalk man Christopher Aikler for unknown reasons, according to the lawsuit.

"...Aikler, a trained mixed martial arts fighter, smashed Matthew Porretta in the face with his beer mug, without any provocation and with such force as to shatter the beer mug," the lawsuit states.

Aikler was charged with assault for the incident; his criminal case is pending.

Porretta is seeking more than $15,000 in damages, according to the March lawsuit. Steven Palmer is also listed as a defendant.

Porretta played Robin Hood in the 1997 "The New Adventures of Robin Hood" TV series and also was cast as Will Scarlet O'Hara in "Robin Hood: Men in Tights." Other credits include "Beverly Hills 90210" and several other TV shows and video game voice acting appearances.
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Porretta sustained injuries to his eye, including a laceration. He also fractured his nasal bone, sustained lacerations to his face and fractured his face among other injuries.

"I do not know the person who hit me and all I remember was waking up on the ground covered in blood on my hands and face," Porretta said in an affidavit.

He had eye surgery to salvage his eyeball but will likely require future surgeries and has suffered permanent disfiguration.

Aikler and Palmer's representatives didn't respond to a request for comment from Darien News.

Man sues St. Charles bar, patron over bathroom attack

An Elburn man has sued a downtown St. Charles bar, arguing he was beaten in May 2016 by an overserved patron.

Christopher Darlak filed the lawsuit in Kane County, seeking unspecified damages from Alley 64, 212 W. Main St., and one of its patrons.

According to the lawsuit, Darlak was a patron at Alley 64 the night of May 15 when the "highly intoxicated" patron confronted Darlak in the washroom and beat him.

Darlak argues that Alley 64's staff was negligent in overserving the patron and liable for injuries he sustained. The lawsuit also seeks damages from the patron, saying he was responsible for the injuries in the unprovoked attack.

Kane County court records did not show any criminal charges against the patron in connection with the case. Darlak's attorney, Larry Amoni, said the patron was not charged with any crime.

Amoni said his client suffered a "significant injury" but declined further comment.

A message left with Alley 64 was not returned. Efforts to reach the patron were unsuccessful.

The case is due before Judge James Murphy on June 20.


Man Sues South Philly Bar After Claiming Bartender Threw Glass at Him

A Pennsylvania man is suing a South Philadelphia bar after claiming a bartender threw a glass at his face, leaving him bloody and scarred for life.

Zachary Kleinpeter, 26, of Wyncote, told NBC10 the incident took place at the Paddy Whacks Irish Sports Pub on South Street back on December 2.

Kleinpeter, who is studying to be a Physician Assistant, said he was with his family and longtime friends at the bar. Kleinpeter ordered a second round of drinks but was ignored by the bartender, according to the lawsuit. When Kleinpeter tried to get his attention, the bartender allegedly began cursing and yelling at him. Kleinpeter claims he remained calm as the bartender continued shouting at him. The bartender then allegedly threw an empty glass at Kleinpeter, striking him in the face, before fleeing the bar.
“It hit my top teeth the worst and my nose,” Kleinpeter said. “It shattered like across my face.”

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Woman injured in bar fight opening day 2016 sues The Cubby Bear

A woman is suing the Cubby Bear sports bar for an injury she suffered when a fight broke out on the Cubs’ opening day last year.

On April 11, 2016, Donna Benson was inside the bar, located across the street from Wrigley Field at 1059 W. Addison St., when an intoxicated bar patron and an employee “fought before violently colliding with [Benson], causing injury,” according to the lawsuit.

Benson filed the suit Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court, claiming it was the responsibility of the bar to keep her and other patrons safe from harm.

The owner of the Cubby Bear could not immediately be reached for comment.  
The two-count suit seeks at least $100,000 in damages.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Mother Of Man Fatally Shot At Suburban Nightclub Suing Owners

CHICAGO (CBS) — The mother of a man killed in a south suburban Blue Island nightclub shooting last year filed a lawsuit Friday against the owners of the club, a promoter and the accused shooter.

Officers responded to a call of shots fired about 1 a.m. April 11, 2016 at the Premium 127 Club at 1859 W. 127th Street, according to a statement from Blue Island police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. The shooting killed Michael Goldsmith, 27, of Chicago, and wounded another man.

Anthony D. Timberlake, 21, was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated discharge of a handgun and felony mob action for the shooting, Cook County court records show.

Langser Starnes, the mother of Goldsmith, filed the four-count suit on Friday in Cook County Circuit Court and seeks more than $200,000 in damages.

Henry Bays, who was wounded in the shooting, is seeking more than $150,000 in a suit filed on March 9 against the same defendants.

The shooting happened because the club allowed a then-underage Timberlake to become intoxicated at the bar and then asked him to leave when he “became loud, boisterous and eventually violent,” when he later returned to the club and fired shots inside, according to the suits.

Timberlake remains held on $1.5 million bail at Cook County Jail, sheriff’s office records show. He was expected to next appear in court April 26.

A representative for Premium 127 did not respond to a request for comment.


Sunday, April 2, 2017

Gardner woman, hit by car, sues restaurant that served driver (Worchester, MA)

WORCESTER — A Gardner woman who was seriously injured three years ago when she was struck by a car while standing outside her disabled vehicle and was dragged more than 300 feet has filed a civil dram shop lawsuit against the Dragon 88 restaurant in Boylston.

Katrina McCarty alleges in the suit that before the accident, both she and Charles F. Bohigian, the driver of the car that hit her on the morning of March 23, 2014, were served alcohol at the Chinese restaurant on Route 140 despite being intoxicated. Mr. Bohigian, 53, of Worcester, was convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol and causing serious bodily injury and other charges in January of this year and was ordered to serve six months of a 2½-year jail sentence with four years of probation to follow.

Ms. McCarty’s lawyer, Robert J. Cirillo Jr., filed the lawsuit March 17 in Worcester Superior Court on behalf of Ms. McCarty and her three children. Dragon 88 Inc. is the sole defendant. The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages and includes loss of consortium claims on behalf of the children. Paperwork accompanying the suit lists Ms. McCarty’s medical expenses resulting from the accident as being in excess of $275,000.

According to the suit and testimony during Mr. Bohigian’s trial, Ms. McCarty went to the Dragon 88 on the night of March 22, 2014, to attend a gathering in remembrance of a friend’s son who had died. After leaving the establishment shortly before 12:30 a.m., her 2008 Cadillac SUV crashed into a guardrail on the Route 140 on-ramp to Interstate 290 westbound.

After Ms. McCarty gathered some of her belongings and got out of the SUV, a 2002 Hyundai sedan driven by Mr. Bohigian crashed into Ms. McCarty’s vehicle. Ms. McCarty was trapped beneath the Hyundai and dragged more than 330 feet before she became dislodged, according to the suit, which states that she suffered serious and permanent injuries, “including but not limited to traumatic brain injury.”

The location where Ms. McCarty was struck is just over a half-mile from the Dragon 88, according to the lawsuit.

The suit alleges that before the crash, both Ms. McCarty and Mr. Bohigian were served alcohol at the restaurant when employees knew or reasonably should have known that they were intoxicated. Ms. McCarty and her lawyer are accusing the Dragon 88 of being “negligent, careless, grossly negligent and/or engaged in willful and wanton misconduct” and are looking to hold it liable for her injuries.

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