Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Nightclub Ignored Woman's Complaints About Drunk Man Who Attacked Her: Suit

CHELSEA — A 10th Avenue nightclub failed to boot a drunk patron who had harassed a woman at the popular venue despite her warnings to security staff, leading the boozed-up club-goer to attack the victim after being fed more drinks, a new lawsuit charges.

Manhattan resident Sarah Pepe had just left Avenue, at 116 10th Ave. near West 17th Street, on March 16 when she was “physically attacked and beaten” by another patron, a lawsuit filed last week against nightclub operator Chelsea Hospitality Partners in Manhattan Supreme Court claims.

Earlier that night, the man who attacked Pepe had been “verbally harassing her” inside the venue, her attorney Daniel Niamehr told DNAinfo New York.

“My client just tried to really avoid the man, but as the night went on, he got more and more intoxicated and started to get worse — he started getting aggressive toward her,” Niamehr said.

Pepe told a security guard at the nightclub about the man several times — saying she was “scared for her safety" — and security checked in with the man but didn’t boot him from the club, the attorney added.

The suit claims Pepe’s attacker was “visibly intoxicated” inside the club, but that the venue kept serving him alcohol anyway.

Chelsea Hospitality Partners had a duty to protect its patrons and prevent “foreseeable risks of criminal attacks,” but “failed to take adequate or reasonable steps to prevent or stop the attack upon [Pepe],” despite being “on notice that [Pepe’s] attacker posed a specific threat to [her] safety,” the suit adds.

While Niamehr declined to go into detail about the injuries Pepe sustained, the suit says she suffered “severe personal injuries” and still has medical expenses to pay off.

Pepe is seeking unspecified damages, the suit adds.

The club — which claims to be the “go-to meeting place for bold-faced names and scenesters alike” — has hosted events for celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Derek Jeter, according to its website.

Late last year, NBA player Matt Barnes was accused of attacking a woman inside the club in an incident that he ultimately only plead guilty to disorderly conduct charges.

The venue didn’t immediately respond to request for comment on the suit.

via https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20170822/chelsea/avenue-nightclub-10th-avenue-assault-lawsuit

Monday, August 21, 2017

Mom of slain M’ville student sues pub

The mother of Robby Schartner, a Manhattanville College student who was struck and killed last year after returning to campus from White Plains, has filed a lawsuit against the driver and the bar where she allegedly consumed alcohol for hours.

Donna Juliette Ann Hall, Schartner’s mother, is challenging that The Pub, a bar located on Elm Place, continued to serve the driver, Emma Fox, while she was “visibly intoxicated,” just before the incident.

On Oct. 9 last year, Schartner, of Fishkill, was walking along Westchester Avenue, returning from a night out in downtown White Plains, before Fox, 24, struck and killed the 21-year-old with her car, a 2012 Nissan Sentra.

Fox, who has been charged with an aggravated DWI and first-degree manslaughter for striking and killing the student, was traveling eastbound at around 5 a.m. when the incident occurred.

At the time of her arrest, police measured Fox with a blood alcohol level of 0.21; the legal limit in New York state is 0.08.

The lawsuit, filed on Aug. 11, states that the bar “carelessly and unlawfully” provided alcohol to Fox, who was “unable to walk properly, had slurred speech, had bloodshot eyes, and openly and obviously smelled from consumption of alcohol,” between approximately 12 a.m. and 4:30 a.m.

After Schartner’s death, the Manhattanville College administration decided to modify its shuttle bus service in response to criticism from the student body about the safety of its schedule, which made its final return to campus at 1:30 a.m.

The college reinstated Friday and Saturday late night hours for the Valiant Express, which had been nixed in 2015. Typically, the shuttle bus returns to campus as late as 3:30 a.m. under that current schedule.

Fox is due to reappear in White Plains City Court on Aug. 31, after a number of her previous court dates were adjourned. She was released from Westchester County Jail last November on a $100,000 bail.

Stephen Lewis, an attorney representing Fox, did not respond to a request for comment.

James Finneran, the owner of the bar, and Anthony Mamo, and attorney representing Hall, could not be reached for comment as of press time.

via http://www.harrisonreview.com/lead-stories/mom-of-slain-mville-student-sues-pub/

Friday, August 18, 2017

Attorney for family of late U of L cheerleader speaks out about lawsuit against Louisville bar

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An accused drunk driver and the bar that served him alcohol are being sued.

This week, attorneys filed a lawsuit on behalf of the family of a former University of Louisville cheerleader. Shanae Moorman, age 25, was thrown from a car and died after a crash last year on the Gene Snyder Freeway. Police say 34-year old Bradley Caraway was driving drunk and left the scene.

Attorneys for Moorman's family have included Gerstle's Place on Frankfort Avenue in the lawsuit. They say both Moorman and the bar are responsible.

"We think that responsibilities aligns with both of them," said John DeCamillis, one of the family's attorneys.

The suit claims Caraway was nearly 3-times the legal limit several hours after the crash, and employees of the St. Matthews bar didn't do enough to stop him from getting behind the wheel.

"You're not making them count every person's drinks or asking who is driving, but you can not continually serve someone to the point that they are falling down drunk and just let them walk out and not know where they're going," said attorney Steve Romines.

Caraway entered a not guilty plea and has been released on bond.

Gerstle's Place denies liability in a claim filed in the civil case.

via http://www.wdrb.com/story/36160403/attorney-for-family-of-late-u-of-l-cheerleader-speaks-out-about-lawsuit-against-louisville-bar

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Lawsuit targets St. Matthews bar in deadly DUI case, reignites liability debate

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Employees at a St. Matthews bar 'knew or should have known' a man they served alcohol to was already drunk before police said the man caused a deadly crash, a new lawsuit against the bar claims.

The lawsuit, filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court last month and obtained by the WHAS 11 News i-Team, names the suspected driver in the crash, Brad Caraway, and Gerstle's Place, a bar on Frankfort Avenue. It was filed on behalf of the estate of Shanae Moorman, a former University of Louisville cheerleader, who died in the August 6, 2016 crash.

The suit came nearly one year after the early morning crash near where the Gene Snyder Freeway meets Interstate 64.

According to records in Caraway's criminal case file, police said Caraway walked away from the scene after the vehicle flipped over, pinning Moorman. Officers found Caraway barefoot and shirtless, smelling of alcohol and appearing to be 'very intoxicated,' the records show.

"Mr. Brad Caraway's ethanol level was at least two times the legal limit at the time of the fatal collision," Louisville Metro Police Surgeon Dr. Bill Smock wrote in a report after reviewing forensic blood samples and medical records.

The lawsuit says Gerstle's employees were negligent and careless in serving alcohol to Caraway.

"A reasonable person under the same or similar circumstances should have known Bradley A. Caraway was already intoxicated at the time of serving," attorney Robert Mattingly wrote in the suit.

The criminal case records show investigators went to Gerstle's and another bar, which was not named in the lawsuit, days later to review and gather surveillance video from the night of the crash, however, those videos were not included in the files reviewed by the i-Team.

Those videos could provide context to several bar receipts from Gerstle's charged to both Caraway and Moorman's bank accounts. The videos could also support the defense by Gerstle's attorney Gregg Thornton.

"Its a very unfortunate situation, a very bad accident," Thornton said by phone from Lexington, "But it appears that they were only at [Gerstle's} for a short time and we're investigating whether or not they consumed alcohol at other locations that night other than Gerstles."

Answering the lawsuit with a crossclaim, Thornton denied any liability on the part of Gerstle's or its employees.

For many, the lawsuit sparked memories of the 2002 deaths of teenage sweethearts Cory Stauble and Jamie Parsley, who died when Mark Eberenez drove drunk and slammed into a car the teens were driving. All three died in the collision.

Eberenez had been drinking for several hours at a TGI Friday's and another bar before getting behind the wheel.

In June 2003, Friday's and its parent company settled the lawsuit for $21 million.

In an emailed statement, John DeCamillis said every 53 minutes, someone is killed by a drunk driver, adding, in Kentucky alone, drunk drivers kill over 200 people a year.

“As a society, we all possess a responsibility to do our part in keeping drunk drivers off the road. And, bars, as servers of alcohol, possess a heightened duty,” the statement said, “By holding bars responsible, our law firm is doing our part – with the hope of saving even one more life. “

One difference in the new civil case, the suspected driver survived. Brad Caraway's murder case is still pending in Jefferson County Circuit Court.

Also in the crossclaim, Thornton wrote if Gerstle's was found to be liable, the company wanted Caraway to pay for any damages Gerstle's was ordered to pay. The civil case is still in its early stages, Thornton said.

Layers for Caraway could not be reached for comment.

Amanda Hartley, one of the attorneys representing the Moorman estate, said the lawsuit speaks for itself and declined to comment further.

via http://www.whas11.com/news/investigations/iteam/lawsuit-targets-st-matthews-bar-in-deadly-dui-case-reignites-liability-debate/464937007

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

2 Methuen men sue popular bar near Fenway

SALEM, Mass. — Two Methuen men have filed a lawsuit against a popular Boston bar and restaurant near Fenway Park, alleging that the establishment's employees severely beat them in May of 2015.

Michael Pino and Stephen Merrick filed the suit against Oliver Twist, Inc., the parent company of Cask 'n Flagon, on Aug. 7. Also named as defendants are former Cask employees Luis Mercado and Sean McKenna, and two unidentified employees named only as John Doe 1 and John Doe 2.

The plaintiffs say that as a result of an altercation they had with Cask employees, they suffered injuries including a concussion, fractured facial bones and broken teeth. They are seeking damages, including interest, and submitted paperwork that shows their medical treatment cost more than $11,000 combined.

Efforts by The Eagle-Tribune to contact Mercado and McKenna were unsuccessful Monday. The management of Cask 'n Flagon did not return requests for comment. Lawyers for Pino and Merrick also declined comment.

According to the lawsuit, Pino and Merrick were walking by the bar about 11:15 p.m. on May 23, 2015, holding beers they say they purchased elsewhere.They say that as they walked by the bar, McKenna, who was standing by the doorway, told them they could not leave with a drink. Pino and Merrick said they hadn't taken the drinks from Cask 'n Flagon, and continued walking.

The plaintiffs allege that Mercado, who also was working the door, and McKenna followed and confronted them, and that John Doe 1 approached soon after and "threw (Merrick) into the railing."

Pino and Merrick left and later passed Cask 'n Flagon a second time at about 11:45 p.m., according to court documents. McKenna "said some words" from inside the bar, to which Merrick responded "with a gesture." A second altercation ensued, according to court documents.

Pino and Merrick allege that they both briefly lost consciousness at the hands of Mercado, McKenna, and the John Does. They say they were severely injured when they walked to Kenmore Square, where they called police.

The lawsuit alleges that following the fight, McKenna and Mercado both were charged with assault and battery, to which McKenna pleaded guilty. According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office, Mercado never appeared for his arraignment in August of 2015 and a warrant was issued for his arrest, but it does not appear he was ever arrested on that warrant.

Both men were fired from Cask 'n Flagon after the alleged assault, according to the lawsuit.

The city's Licensing Board suspended Cask 'n Flagon's liquor license for three days, with two days to be served and one suspended for six months, the lawsuit says.

Pino and Merrick are seeking damages, plus interest and costs, for the infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring, supervision and training practices, negligence, assault and battery and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

via http://www.eagletribune.com/news/merrimack_valley/methuen-men-sue-popular-bar-near-fenway/article_8def1aa2-502b-5c26-819e-9c878cb9ee3e.html

Friday, August 11, 2017

Family sues N.J. bar where man died after trying to break up altercation

The son of a man who died after an altercation outside a Jersey City bar has filed a lawsuit alleging the bar continued to serve the victim and his alleged attacker after they were already intoxicated.

The lawsuit filed by the son and sister of Benie Kaulesar, 57, of Jersey City, names defendants associated with the Palm Court Restaurant and Bar where Kaulesar and the man charged with killing him, Cornelius J. Ramadhar, 39, had been on Aug. 16, 2015.

Ramadhar was originally charged with aggravated assault, but after Kaulesar died at the Jersey City Medical Center six days later, the charge was upgraded to manslaughter.

Both Ramadhar and Kaulesar "were already intoxicated and/or became intoxicated" at the bar, "but defendants continued to prepare, serve and/or sell alcohol" to them, the lawsuit says.

Individuals associated with the establishment "willfully, wantonly, recklessly and maliciously breached their duty not to expose others to a reasonably foreseeable risk," by doing so, the lawsuit says.

And doing so was a direct cause and substantial factor "in the fatal assault, beating, harassment, punching and subsequent death" of Kaulesar, the suit says.
The 12-count, wrongful death lawsuit also alleges the bar failed to provide proper security and training required to keep patrons and the public safe.

Named as defendants in the suit are Palm Court Restaurant and Bar, Simbhu Persaud, Subramanie Permaul, Rookminie Permaul, Jaswantia Ganesh, Andy Ganesh, Seeta Ganesh and S.P. Investment LLC.

The various defendants are listed as either owning, leasing, renting, operating, supervising, controlling, managing or maintaining the establishment.

Finally, Ramadhar is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. It says he "maliciously struck, beat, harassed, assaulted, punched and killed" Kaulesar.

Kaulesar, who was president of the Jersey City Cricket Club, was struck while trying to break up the argument sometime between 1 and 2 a.m. outside the West Side Avenue bar, police said at the time.

Kaulesar's brother, Daydatt Kaulessar, told The Jersey Journal that on the day of the incident, his brother was at a fundraiser for his cricket team at a home on Union Street.

After leaving around midnight, he stopped at the Palm Court. Kaulesar said his brother and the restaurant owner were neighbors.

The suit filed by Englewood attorney Robert B. Linder seeks damages and punitive damages. The plaintiffs are Kaulesar's sister, Chanmonie Kaulesar, and his son, Benie P. Kaulesar.

Ramadhar's trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 26 before Hudson County Superior Court Judge Mark Nelson in the Hudson County Administration Building in Jersey City.

via http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index.ssf/2017/08/family_sues_nj_bar_where_man_d.html