Summary Judgment Granted / Restaurant Not Negligent in Shooting Incident

Attorney Colleen Garlick successfully obtained summary judgment in an action filed in Meriden Superior Court for injuries sustained by a patron who was shot in the defendant’s restaurant.

The plaintiff alleged that he was on the dance floor of the defendant’s restaurant when he was assaulted and shot by another patron.  The plaintiff claimed injuries, including gunshot wounds to the neck and back, lung damage, pleural effusion, fracture of his ribs and paralysis of his right hand.  Further, the plaintiff alleged that the restaurant had a duty of care to protect invitees from dangers that might reasonably be anticipated and that the restaurant breached that duty of care.  The plaintiff alleged that the restaurant had a prior history of crime and weapons violations and that the defendant restaurant negligently hired and failed to adequately train security staff.

Attorney Garlick argued that the restaurant had no duty of care to the plaintiff for the criminal acts committed by another party and that the subject incident was not reasonably foreseeable.  Further, Attorney Garlick argued that the plaintiff failed to produce evidence that the restaurant proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries.  Lastly, Attorney Garlick argued that the plaintiff failed to produce any expert testimony to establish a standard of care and, as such, summary judgment should be granted.

Judge Nada Sizemore granted the restaurant’s motion for summary judgment.  The court determined that the incident was not foreseeable and that the plaintiff did not submit admissible evidence to controvert the evidence provided by the restaurant.  Because the court reached this conclusion based on the duty and foreseeability arguments, the court did not need to address the proximate cause arguments or the failure to disclose an expert claims raised by the restaurant.  The plaintiff filed a motion to reargue the court’s decision.  Attorney Garlick filed an objection to the plaintiff’s motion to reargue and argued the motions before the court.  The court ultimately denied the plaintiff’s motion to reargue and sustained the restaurant’s objection.

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