Thursday, September 28, 2017

Willoughby Brewing Co. sued for $3 million over man’s assault

A Willoughby Hills man has filed a $3 million lawsuit against the Willoughby Brewing Co. over injuries he suffered during a melee that occurred after closing time outside the restaurant/bar.

Matthew Drake’s complaint claims he was injured outside the Erie Street business the evening of July 23, 2016.

According to the suit, filed Sept. 25 in Lake County Common Pleas Court by attorney E. Tasso Paris:

• Drake was at the bar on a Saturday night while the live band Tricky Dick played to a capacity crowd.

“The Defendant … failed to provide any security at its main entrance, thereby permitting a large altercation to go uninterrupted, endangering any and all patrons who had to come into its vicinity,” Paris stated in the lawsuit. “… As a result of Defendant’s negligence, … Plaintiff was violently struck by an individual permitted to engage in unabated criminal conduct on Defendant’s property.”

• As a result of the bar’s negligence, Drake suffered bleeding between his skull and brain cover near the left transverse sinus.

• The injury caused Drake to permanently lose his ability to taste and smell, and forced him to incur medical costs and loss of income.

Brewing Co. Managing Partner Jeremy Van Horn said he feels bad for what happened to Drake, whom he has known for 10 years.

However, Van Horn said he feels betrayed by the lawsuit because he and other restaurant employees went out of their way to help the victim that night — even though no verbal or physical altercations occurred inside the premises.

“It happened around 2:30 in the morning after we were closed and our doors were locked and everybody was out,” Van Horn said. “Matt was standing in the parking lot of Olivor Twist’s and got shoved over. One of my managers saw what happened and scaled a fence on the front patio to get to him. My manager actually put himself in the middle of a six-person ordeal to help him out. Matt left our premises, and we still got involved. The guy who did that to him was never even in our establishment. I remember I wouldn’t let that group of people in that night because they were rude and I got a bad vibe. None of these altercations happened inside.

“I was actually part of a chase to help Matt. We chased the guy down that did that to him and made sure he got arrested for it, and then we restrained him until the police came. We also made sure Matt got into an ambulance, and we followed through the next day to see how he was doing. We also donated money to his GoFundMe account for his medical expenses. We even testified for Matt at the (criminal) court hearing to help him.”

Van Horn questioned why the man who assaulted Drake is not named in the civil suit.

Derik Horton, a 25-year-old former Elyria man, is serving four years in prison for the beating. A Lake County Common Pleas Court jury found Horton guilty in June of felonious assault and two misdemeanor assault counts.

Besides damages, Drake is also seeking a jury trial, court costs and attorney fees.

The civil case has been assigned to Judge Eugene A. Lucci.


Saturday, September 23, 2017

MPD officer sues bar, drunk driver who hit him

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - An MPD officer is suing a Memphis bar after saying it didn't do enough to protect him from an alleged drunk driver last December.

Officer Jacoba Boyd was injured when a man left the bar Electric Cowboy drunk and slammed into Boyd's car in the parking lot.

Police have identified the alleged drunk driver as 24-year-old Landon Harding.

Boyd had also been at the bar and was off-duty at the time.

Now, Boyd is filing a lawsuit for $150,000 suing Harding, Electric Cowboy, and its management company.

“We are asking to hold them [Electric Cowboy] responsible,” said Boyd's attorney Murray Wells.

The lawsuit claims the bar "negligently and/or recklessly served alcohol to Harding, who was visibly intoxicated."

It also says the bar "owed a duty to provide a reasonably safe and secure environment to patrons."

“We're a little outraged at how someone gets to the point that they're able to leave in such condition,” Wells said.

Wells claimed Boyd, who is also a Marine, suffered back and neck injuries and had to be cut from his car. He also said Boyd was off work for more than a month as he recovered.

“It was so grossly out of bounce and the driving was so incredible, we think they share responsibility to the serious injuries to my client,” Wells said.

WMC Action News 5 reached out to Electric Cowboy on Friday but were told the owner was not available.

However, WMC5 spoke by phone late Friday to a supervisor, who said all of their bartenders are fully trained and make sure customers leave safely.

Owners at the bar said they were not aware of this lawsuit.

Harding was charged with DUI and reckless driving but has not been tried. WMC5 also reached out to him Friday but did not get a response.


Friday, September 22, 2017

Intoxicated Elderly Woman Falls, Breaks Hip, Sues Red Lobster For Serving Her Too Much Alcohol

An elderly Houston woman has filed a lawsuit against a national restaurant chain claiming she was given too much alcohol, causing her to fall and break her hip.

Marlene Spencer, 82, visited a Red Lobster restaurant in March, the Houston Chronicle reports. She had walked over to the eatery from a nearby senior living community, where she lives. Spencer fell in the parking lot, breaking her right hip and right arm, and hitting her head on the ground, according to the lawsuit.

The suit filed in Harris County on Monday says the 113-pound woman had a 0.31 blood alcohol level when she walked out of the restaurant.

It was not the first time Spencer or other residents of the senior living center had been over-served at the restaurant, the suit says. Spencer’s daughter had multiple conversations with the Red Lobster management about over-serving her mother, according to the lawsuit.

“This was an ongoing problem that Ms. Spencer’s daughter tried to quell, but to no avail,” the suit says. “This has been a recurring problem with multiple Brookdale residents.”

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Family of Tallahassee man killed at El Patron files lawsuit

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The family of a man who was shot and killed at El Patron two years ago has filed a lawsuit against the restaurant.

The suit against the restaurant and company that was in charge of security, Heavy Hitters, was filed on Sept. 19.

The family of Ira Brown, the man killed at El Patron, alleges that the security restaurant was negligent. The suit alleged that the night of December 8, 2015, the restaurant had been "significantly overcrowded," so much so that patrons could hardly move.

The document says that though the El Patron hired a private security bouncers for the night, there were no pat downs or metal detectors used to check for potential weapons.

Not long after midnight, a fight broke out in the club, leading to a shooting.

The suit says that while Brown was not a part of the fight, he was killed by a stray bullet.

The document asserts that "the premises was so crowded that the shooter was able to escape without being apprehended." The shooter, Isaiah Robinson, was later arrested and charged for Brown's murder.

The suit alleges that El Patron had a duty to maintain its grounds to protect attendees from danger.

It asserts that allowing the premises to become overcrowded, failing to take proper security precautions, and failing to have procedure for violent situations makes the restaurant and the security company negligent.

The lawsuit claims that Brown was shot and killed a direct result of their negligence, demanding judgement against El Patron and Heavy Hitters for wrongful death damages.

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Monday, September 4, 2017

Family Sues Hotel For Serving DUI Driver Alcohol

There are legal statutes known as Dram Shot laws that allow for a restaurant, bar, or other venue that serves alcohol to be sued if one of their patrons is afterwards involved in a DUI. Most, but not all, states have something similar to a Dram Shot law. In California, the family of a man killed by two drunken drivers is suing the hotel that served them the alcohol, as the West Hollywood Patch reports.

Eliezer Malahi, 58, of Hollywood, California, was struck by two vehicles in the late afternoon of August 15, 2015 after her got out of his vehicle in the 300 block of North Crescent Drive. Beverly Hills police officers called to the scene found Malahi unconscious and began to administer CPR. Unfortunately, Malahi was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later.

48-year-old Sue Yong Sohn of Irvine and Tony Sun Jae Jung of Santa Clarita were implicated in the accident. Jung has since passed away and Sohn was arrested in October of 2015 at Los Angeles International Airport as she awaited her one-way flight to Seoul, South Korea. She had purchased the ticket the previous day. In 2015, Sohn was charged with murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit and run driving resulting in the serious injury or death of another person, driving on a suspended or revoked privilege because of a DUI conviction and driving with a privilege that was suspended or revoked due to a failed blood alcohol test.

On June 12, Sohn pleaded no contest to a charge of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

The family of the deceased Malahi has filed a lawsuit implicating Sohn, the estate of Jung, and the hotel in which the two were drinking on the day of the incident.

According to the lawsuit, the Montage Beverly Hills Hotel served the equivalent of approximately three bottles of wine to Sohn and Jung. Most of the alcohol was consumed by Sohn. Sohn was later seen stumbling and slurring her speech. The valet refused to retrieve her car and offered her a taxi, which was declined. Jung was able to get the vehicle 30 minutes later and the pair drove off.

About 150 feet from the hotel, Jung got out of the driver’s seat and allowed Sohn to take control of the vehicle. Jung got into another vehicle and the pair drove off. About a half-mile away, Sohn struck Malahi and shortly afterward, so did Jung.

According to the lawsuit, the hotel staff failed in their obligation to ensure that neither Sohn nor Jung would be able to drive while intoxicated.

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