The family of a woman and her two children that were shot to death by their husband/father have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a restaurant alleging that they were negligent in failing to intervene in the dispute that led to the three being shot and killed. The incident occurred when the young woman, her two kids and her husband (and the children’s father) were out celebrating the woman and man’s birthdays at dinner one night and the young woman informed her husband that she was leaving him. The husband immediately threatened to kill his wife and to kill their two children and stormed out of the restaurant. The wife called a friend and called the police and asked the restaurant manager if they could hide out in the restaurant’s cooler while they waited for the police.
The manager told the woman that it was the restaurant’s policy not to get involved in domestic disputes and therefore did not allow them access to the cooler to hide. The young woman ended up hiding, with the two children, in the restroom of the restaurant. However, about five minutes later her enraged husband returned with a shotgun and found his family hiding in the bathroom. He shot his wife and his two daughters, killing them before the police were able to intervene. Police ended up shooting the husband when they arrived.
The wrongful death lawsuit, filed by the brother of the young woman as executor of her estate, alleges that the restaurant had a duty to protect its customers and was negligent in failing to do this for his sister and her children. According to Cleveland.com, the lawsuit goes into detail illustrating that the restaurant staff was negligent in not providing help to the woman and her children that were clearly in danger by not providing them a safe place to wait for the police (when there was a much more secure option available that the place they ended up hiding). While the attorney for the family acknowledges that it is easier in retrospect to say what the restaurant should have, this was a situation where there was an easy way to help the family and the restaurant failed to take this simple step. Additionally, the attorney states that the big restaurant chain where this incident occurred has security protocols in place to try to stop terrible situations like this from happening.
In addition to seeking monetary damages for actual money that was incurred as a result of the tragic incident (hospital, medical bills, funeral bills, etc.), the lawsuit is also seeking punitive damages, which are monetary awards that act as a punishment to the party being sued and which are aimed to deter the defendant from further similar action.
If your loved one was killed in a tragic accident and you feel that it could have been prevented by someone or a party that failed to act when they owed a duty to your loved one, please contact our office today to discuss what legal options may be available to your family. Please do not hesitate to contact us today, as there is a time limitation on how long after the wrongful death that a lawsuit may be filed against those liable.