Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Cleveland Bar Sued After 20-Year-Old Girl Suffers ‘Catastrophic’ Injuries From 2nd Story Fall

On March 17, 2017, 20-year-old Megan Keefe was out at a Cleveland, Ohio, bar celebrating St. Patrick's Day with her friends.

However, the day that has been dubbed the luckiest of the year turned tragic when the second story balcony railing gave way and Keefe fell over 15 feet.

Screenshot/The Daily Mail

Her head hit a granite countertop and the fall left her incapacitated. Video from the time of the fall showed an employee jostling the girl around as he tried to half-carry, half-drag her outside. A man in the background can be heard saying:

“He's throwing her out of the club, she needs an ambulance.”

According to the Daily Mail, Keefe was placed on the sidewalk until emergency responders arrived and took her to the hospital. She suffered a brain bleed and multiple fractures, including her skull, seventh vertebrae, and eye socket, and was in critical condition. reported that the 20-year-old is still unconscious and has been placed in an assisted-living facility. In the almost four months since her fall, her family has had to cover more than one million dollars in medical costs.

Her lifelong medical expenses have been estimated to exceed $10 million and on Monday, her family filed a lawsuit against the bar, its owners, and the security guards.

The suit cited negligence on the part of Spirits Restaurant and Bar for not properly maintaining the railing and failing to provide adequate warnings to patrons that the railing could be faulty. It also charged employee Nicholas Urso with negligence for his role in moving Keefe:

“Defendant Urso ... negligently moved Megan's head, neck and body from the location where she fell to outside the premises, which aggravated and/or worsened Megan's already catastrophic fall-related injuries and medical condition.”

According to the Daily Mail, the bar was also reprimanded for serving liquor to an underage person and was temporarily closed because of “hazardous conditions,” including outdated sprinklers and fire extinguishers, and an obstructed exit.

Building inspectors reportedly found that the bar was not certified to even have customers on the second floor.

The suit requested a trial by jury and damages include the family's financial losses, as well as, the loss of the “aide, comfort, support, and society” of their daughter.

John Neal, Spirits' attorney, told NBC News affiliate WKYC Channel 3 that the bar has not been served with the lawsuit, but reminded the news outlet that the lawsuit's claims are “allegations only, not facts.”

In the meantime, a GoFundMe page was set up to help ease the family's financial burden.


Palatine's Durty Nellie's Sued Over Not Stopping Driver In Fatal Crash

PALATINE, IL — A popular Palatine bar is being sued by the family of a Crystal Lake man who was killed by a driver who had attended a pub crawl in the area before the fatal accident. Two other suburban bars were named in the lawsuit, along with the family of the 28-year-old man responsible for the February crash, according to NBC 5 Chicago.

Karaline Madigan filed the lawsuit against Durty Nellie's in Palatine — as well as Peggy Kinnane's of Arlington Heights and Finn McCool's of Crystal Lake — because she claims the bars didn't do enough to stop Tyler Stewart from getting behind the wheel of his 2016 Toyota Tacoma after drinking too much and causing a fatal accident that killed him and Lawrence Madigan, Karaline's husband, the report stated. Stewart collided with Madigan the night of Feb. 11 in the southbound lane of Walkup Road, just north of Hillside Road, in unincorporated Nunda Township. (Get Patch real-time email alerts for the latest Palatine news. And iPhone users: Check out Patch's new app.)

"[Stewart] began drinking at approximately 2:30 in the afternoon on a Saturday at one bar," Jennifer Ashley, the lawyer representing Karaline Madigan, told NBC 5. "They were there maybe an hour or so, moved on to the next bar, there for an hour or so, moved on to the third bar. So, where the intoxication happened it's debatable, but we believe all three [bars] caused the intoxication because his blood alcohol was twice the legal limit."

Ashley told the TV station that the pub crawl had been organized to celebrate a birthday, and the bars had been contacted ahead of time. T-shirts were even created for the event, which involved 50 or more people, she added.

RELATED: Alcohol A Suspected Factor In Crash That Killed 2 Crystal Lake Men: Police

Health Insurance Will Cost Women More; Goodwin Fire; Serena: Patch Morning Briefing
Chicago cops indicted, safe driving: a matter of perspective, and a raccoon rides the subway.

Karaline and Lawrence Madigan's son, TJ, said the family filed the lawsuit as a way for the bars to be held responsible for what they let happen.

"People have to be held accountable. We are all held accountable for the choices that we make," TJ told NBC 5. "As a bar owner or a restaurant owner, when you offer alcohol and you are not serving it responsibly, you should be held accountable."


Long Island woman who tore her ACL while mounting Johnny Utah’s mechanical bull files suit against the bar

If you mess with the mechanical bull, you get the mechanical horns.

A drunken patron has sued the popular Midtown bar Johnny Utah's for allowing her to ride its mechanical bull — an experience that left her with a torn ACL.

Jocelyn Burmeister, of Suffolk County, L.I., sued the bar Friday in Manhattan Supreme Court, seeking damages to be determined at trial.

She says in papers she was “visibly intoxicated” on March 18 when she attempted to climb on the mechanical beast at the W. 51st bar.

Johnny Utah's hit with 2nd lawsuit over mechanical bull

Burmeister, 33, "was violently thrown off the bull before having a chance to mount the device, causing life debilitating injuries and surgeries," papers read.

The suit was first reported by DNAInfo.

Jocelyn Burmeister, of Suffolk County, L.I., is suing the Johnny Utah's bar in Midtown for allowing her to ride its mechanical bull while she was boozed up. (FACEBOOK)

Burmeister's attorney, Alexander Karasik, said she underwent surgery last week.
Faster, safer browsing

"She was permitted to mount this device. In fact, she didn't even have a chance to get situated and the bull was thrust into action," Karasik said.

Mechanical bull rider sues bar for injury

"She didn't get a chance to get her other leg onto the bull."

Johnny Utah's mechanical bull — which is surrounded by padding — has been the subject of at least two other lawsuits.

In 2011, a failed urban cowboy sued for busting his shinbone on the bull.

Johnny's Utah's mechanical bull has been the subject of at least two other lawsuits.(JOYCE, ALLISON, NYDN FREELANCE)

In 2014 a patron sued the bar, saying he was tossed from the bull on Super Bowl Sunday, landing awkwardly. He broke an ankle and tore a ligament. Karasik also represented that patron. He said the case was settled for under $100,000.

Johnny Utah employees suing over 'hyper-sexualized work environment'

Karasik argues in his new suit that the bull qualifies as an amusement ride and that Johnny Utah's is not properly training its operators.

"We have discovered this place operates a bull without a license," he said.

A message left with Johnny Utah's was not returned.

Patrons sign a waiver before riding the mechanical bull.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Grand Forks bar assault lawsuit goes before N.D. Supreme Court

Grand Forks bar assault lawsuit goes before N.D. Supreme Court
By Andrew Hazzard on Jun 21, 2017 at 4:54 p.m.

BISMARCK -- A Grand Forks lawsuit dating back to a woman being assaulted at Muddy Rivers Bar and Grill in 2010 is going back before the state Supreme Court this week for the second time to determine if a district court erred in ruling the bar’s insurance company should provide a payout for her injuries and defend the bar in the woman’s suit.

Carol Forsman was injured on Feb. 15, 2010, when she was attacked at the Muddy Rivers Christmas Party by a patron she argued the bar should have known was too intoxicated to be served and needed to be removed from the premises.

Forsman’s initial lawsuit against Muddy Rivers’ parent company, Blues, Brews & Bar-B-Ques Inc., was dismissed as a motion for judgement as a matter of law, meaning the court ruled she lacked sufficient evidence to make her claims.

But in 2012, the Supreme Court reversed and remanded that decision. Forsman and Muddy Rivers then entered an agreement in which the restaurant admitted liability, but said Forsman could only collect from their insurer, United Fire and Casualty Co.

Forsman and United Fire ended up in a subsequent suit, and Grand Forks District Judge Donald Hager ruled in favor of Forsman, ordering the insurer to pay $249,554. She also won a ruling against the woman who assaulted her, Amanda Espinoza, for $148,000. Espinoza was not criminally charged in the matter.

United Fire has appealed to the Supreme Court on the grounds it should overturn the District Court ruling that its general liability policy with Muddy Rivers provided coverage for Forsman’s claims against the bar. The company also denies it should be responsible to defend Muddy Rivers in Forsman’s suit.

Forsman is the mother of Austin Forsman, who was shot and killed at the Flying-J truckstop in 2016.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Four people stabbed during Lowell nightclub brawl

LOWELL -- Four people were stabbed, including a 23-year-old Nashua man who was revived by CPR, during a large brawl at a Central Street club early Monday morning, according to police.

Officers were called to the Vibe Restaurant and Lounge at 179 Central St., Monday at 1:12 a.m., when a passerby called 911 and reported a fight outside and someone stabbed, according to police reports.

Capt. Timothy Crowley said officers performed CPR on a 23-year-old Nashua man who formerly lived in Lowell after they found him unresponsive and suffering from multiple stab wounds. Police reports say that man was stabbed in the chest, abdomen and buttocks.

Crowley said a medical helicopter flew the 23-year-old to Tufts Medical Center in Boston, where he was initially listed in critical condition though he is now expected to survive.

Police found three other stabbing victims nearby, Crowley said.

They included a 20-year-old Lowell man who was taken to Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington with a stab wound to the abdomen; a 21-year-old Lowell man who was taken to Lowell General Hospital with a stab wound to the shoulder; and a 24-year-old Lowell man who was taken to Lowell General Hospital with a stab wound to his face, Crowley said.

Crowley said Lowell police needed mutual aid from state and UMass Lowell police to disperse what he described as a "large disorderly crowd.

The 24-year-old who was stabbed in the face was arrested before being taken to the hospital because he repeatedly attempted to interfere with police officers and EMT's who were providing medical aid to the 23-year-old Nashua man, according to police reports.

That man, Dashawn Owens, was treated and released at LGH and then taken into custody on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, according to Crowley.

Owens was released on personal recognizance following his arraignment Monday in Lowell District Court, according to court records. Police reports say Owens was uncooperative with investigators.

"Despite the apparent knife wound on his face, Dashawn informed me that he did not see anything that night," Officer Jonathan Proulx wrote in a police report.

A police report written by Officer Daniel Kingan says a security guard who was working at the club told him he watched a group of people fighting outside for several minutes before police arrived. That security guard told Kingan he did not report the fight to police, according to the police report. The police report indicates the incident was reported by a passerby.

The club is owned by Alexander LLC, according to License Commission minutes. The club's manager of record, Alexi Torres, could not immediately be reached for comment. The club was closed and the lights were out on Tuesday afternoon.

The club is located on Central Street at the site of the former Reservations Lounge, which closed in April of last year when the License Commission voted to cancel its operating license due to repeated violations, including at least two violent incidents.

When Torres got licenses to take over the property late last year, the attorney who represented him before the commission told The Sun that Torres wanted to avoid the problems that had plagued Reservations Lounge.

When contacted Tuesday, that attorney said he no longer represents Torres and that he had not heard about the Monday morning incident.

Crowley said Lowell police detectives continue to investigate the incident, but that no additional arrests have been made.

Read more:

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Man sues Missoula Club, bouncer after alleged assault, slurs

A man is suing the Missoula Club after one of the bar's bouncers allegedly assaulted him while yelling homophobic comments.

The lawsuit, filed on May 30, accuses the Missoula Club and one of the bar's bouncers of discriminating against a gay man who suffered a broken nose, dislocated shoulder, torn rotator cuff, and cuts and bruises in the alleged assault. Reece Pierce went to Providence-St. Patrick Hospital Emergency Room for treatment of his injuries, according to the suit.

According to a Missoula City police report filed on May 6, Ryan Blume allegedly punched the man in the back of the head, pushed him against a wall and threw him to the ground outside the Missoula Club shortly after midnight. Missoula police issued Blume a citation but was not taken into custody. He is next scheduled to appear in Missoula City Court on July 11, according to court records.

The lawsuit, which termed the assault a "hate-based attack," said the "openly gay" man was with a group at the Missoula Club when one of his friends got into an argument. The group was leaving the bar when Blume, one of the bar's bouncers, began shouting homophobic names at the man, according to the suit.

The lawsuit said Blume slammed Pierce's head to the sidewalk several times while making derogatory comments.

Nate McConnell, the man's attorney, said the bouncer's actions were a violation of the city's non-discrimination ordinance.

The ordinance was the first in the state to explicitly protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, said Kim Abbott, co director of the Montana Human Rights Network.

Missoula City Attorney Jim Nugent said he is not aware of any other civil case that cited or relied on the ordinance since it was adopted in April 2010.

On Monday, Nugent said his office is still investigating the incident to determine whether it should be referred to the Missoula County Attorney for a felony criminal assault charge.

Missoula Chief Deputy County Attorney Jason Marks said an aggravated assault charge, the felony version of assault under Montana law, requires serious bodily injury or fear of serious injury or death, which can be difficult to prove, Marks said. It is not unusual for the city to ask the county to review a case weeks after an incident, Marks said.

Montana law makes it a felony to assault someone because of their race, creed, religion, color, national origin, or involvement in civil rights or human rights activities, but neither gender expression nor sexual orientation is protected under that law, Nugent said. Sentencing enhancements for hate crimes also would not apply in this case, Nugent said.

Pierce is asking that the bar pay his medical bills and lost wages, according to the suit. He also seeks punitive damages.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Deputy injured in crash files lawsuit against Lubbock man, local sports bar

LUBBOCK -  A Lubbock County Sheriff's deputy has filed a lawsuit against a Lubbock sports bar and a man accused of causing a crash that left him injured.

Court documents indicate Deputy Ryan Burns was critically injured Jan. 11, 2016 when his cruiser was hit by a pickup reportedly driven by Tanner Green.

According to the lawsuit, Green was a patron at Cujo's Sports Bar & Grill where he "consumed a large amount of intoxicating beverages and was served alcohol while he was obviously intoxicated and a danger unto himself and the public at large."

Green, and his passenger allegedly fled the scene of the crash near Milwaukee Avenue and 89th Street.

The suit alleges Cujo's served alcohol to an intoxicated person, failed to train and monitor employees, and failed to comply with laws related to over-serving.

At this time, Burns is seeking over $1 million in damages.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Victims of Ohio nightclub shooting sue club, owner

Eight victims of a gunbattle in a Cincinnati nightclub that left two people dead and 15 injured have sued the nightclub, its owner and the building owner.

The lawsuit filed recently in Hamilton County alleges that the defendants failed to have a proper security plan and didn't have enough security personnel at the time of the March 26 shooting. It also contends they failed to protect patrons of the Cameo club from "violent activity and injury."

Some patrons were "intentionally allowed into the club without any security patdowns or any security protocol in exchange for a higher admission fee at a secret back entrance," according to the lawsuit filed May 25 in the county Common Pleas Court.

The lawsuit was filed against Cameo Cincinnati LLC, doing business as Cameo Night Club, its owner Julian Rodgers and the Kellogg Group LLC, which owned and operated the building. Court records don't list attorneys for the defendants. Telephone numbers listed for Rodgers and the club are no longer in service. A recording at a cellphone listed for Rodgers said the mailbox was full and couldn't accept messages, and no phone number could immediately be found for the Kellogg Group.

Cameo's owners were "aware and complicit in the creation of security risks" to their business and patrons, according to the lawsuit.

A statement released by Rodgers after the shooting rejected claims that people could pay to avoid the long line to get into the club without being checked.

Police estimate 200 people were inside the club when a dispute escalated into a gunfight in which more than 20 shots were fired. The popular club near the Ohio River east of downtown Cincinnati has since closed.

Those filing the lawsuit are individually seeking judgments against defendants for damages in excess of $25,000, plus legal costs and any further relief the court may determine. The lawsuit alleges they suffered bodily injury, pain and mental anguish, and incurred expenses for medical treatment and loss of earnings as a result of the shooting. They are seeking a jury trial.

Cornell Beckley, 27, of Cincinnati, has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and other counts in the shooting that prosecutors said developed from a neighborhood "feud over nothing." His trial is scheduled for November.

Beckley's attorney says there's no evidence showing his client "fired a shot at anyone."


Saturday, June 3, 2017

Man sues Shooters nightclub over assault

A Texarkana man who claims he suffered serious injury when a drunk patron attacked him at Shooters Sports Bar last year filed a civil lawsuit Thursday in Miller County.

Rocky Martin Hudson alleges he and a friend, William Bird, went to Shooters at approximately 10:45 p.m. the night of July 31, 2016, in a complaint filed on his behalf by Texarkana attorney Bruce Condit. According to the complaint, Hudson and Bird were leaving the bar after a woman complained to Shooters staff after Bird “brushed up against” her.

As Hudson and Bird were walking out, they allegedly walked past at least two bouncers as they were followed by Darrell Rutledge, who is not named as a defendant in the suit. Rutledge allegedly approached Hudson from behind in an “aggressive and menacing” manner before initiating a physical attack on Hudson which left him unconscious and seriously injured.

“At no time did Shooters Sports Bar or any of its agents or employees warn plaintiff or remove or attempt to remove Rutledge from the premises,” the complaint alleges. “Darrell Rutledge had been exhibiting loud, obnoxious behavior in Shooters Sports Bar and was clearly visibly intoxicated.”

Hudson claims Rutledge continued to beat and kick him even after he was unconscious. Hudson suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage, nasal bone fracture, cranial fracture, facial contusions, scalp lacerations, and other injuries, according to the complaint.

The complaint accuses Shooters of failing to provide adequate security and of serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person, Rutledge, in violation of Arkansas law.

Hudson is seeking damages for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, pain and suffering, attorney fees and costs of court. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Brent Haltom.