Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Lawsuit seeks to hold restaurant chain liable for horrific crime

In previous posts, our blog has discussed the extent to which a restaurant can be held liable for serious personal injuries resulting from acts of violence committed by third parties on its premises.

Interestingly, a case out of neighboring Ohio is now seeking to hold a popular restaurant chain liable for the wrongful death of a woman and her two young daughters, claiming that it failed to meet its obligation to protect its customers.

According to the facts of the case, a family of four -- a husband, wife and two young daughters -- gathered at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in a suburb of Cleveland back in April 2012 for a birthday celebration for one of the girls.

During the course of the dinner, the wife informed the husband that she was leaving him. Enraged by this declaration, the husband threatened to murder all of them and stormed out of the restaurant.

Understandably frightened, the wife called the police and pleaded with the manager to allow her and her daughters to hide in the cooler until they arrived.

The manager, however, indicated that restaurant didn't get involved in domestic disputes and refused the request.

Tragically, the father returned a short time later and followed through with his threat, fatally shooting his family members in the restaurant bathroom before being fatally shot by responding officers.

The wrongful death lawsuit, filed by the brother of the deceased wife earlier this month, claims that the restaurant had a duty to protect the three victims and failed to meet this duty by refusing to provide the necessary protection. It is seeking over $25,000 in damages plus punitive damages.

"It's easy to look back and say they should have done this or they should have done that. But these are situations that are foreseeable," said the attorney representing the brother. "There are security protocols that have been in place for years by these big restaurant chains. They could have taken steps to possibly prevent this disaster."

It should be interesting to see how this case unfolds. Stay tuned for further developments ...

If you have suffered life-changing personal injuries because of negligent security or lost a loved one because of otherwise hazardous conditions here in Pittsburgh, you should strongly consider speaking with an experienced attorney.

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Wrongful death lawsuit accuses Cracker Barrel of negligence in 2012 triple-murder," James McCarty, Oct. 11, 2013

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
20 Stanwix Street, Seventh Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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