Phila. nightclub and patron face assault and battery claim

By Jon Campisi | Aug 29, 2012

A Philadelphia nightclub has been named as a defendant in a civil action filed by a city woman who claims she was seriously injured after being assaulted by a bar patron who was allegedly over-served the night of the attack.

Attorney John M. Willis filed the complaint Aug. 24 at Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court on behalf of Gabrielle Jordan, who alleges she was attacked by a man named Steven Lorenzo Austin back on Aug. 25, 2010, while visiting Club Onyx at 2908 South Columbus Boulevard.

The complaint states that Jordan was attacked with a “deadly weapon,” although the specifics with regard to the type of weapon are not offered in the filing.

Austin was visibly intoxicated at the time of the attack, the lawsuit claims, and Jordan partially blames the establishment for the incident, saying it should be held vicariously liable since bartenders allegedly served Austin alcoholic beverages despite the fact that he had already consumed too many drinks.

As a result of the incident, Austin was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and making terroristic threats, according to the complaint.

In the civil action, Austin is charged with assault, battery and negligence.

Aside from Austin and Club Onyx, the other defendants named in the complaint are The End Zone Inc. and Masso Detective Agency Inc.

The latter is the firm that is employed by the business to provide onsite security.

The lawsuit accuses Masso with failing to hire competent staff, failing to provide adequate safeguards and/or other preventative measures to prevent the plaintiff’s injuries, absence of training and/or sufficient training, absence of supervision and/or insufficient supervision, not meeting the applicable standard of care, inadequate staffing, and negligently managing and/or supervising the premises.

The suit also accuses the security firm of allowing Austin to be in the business’s parking lot with an open container of alcohol, negligently providing security and having security but doing so negligently.

The complaint says because of Austin’s prior conduct, the defendants should have known that the plaintiff’s safety was in jeopardy, and that intervention was needed.

“Defendants did nothing to stop the attack perpetuated on Plaintiff, Gabrielle Jordan, by Defendant, Steven Lorenzo Austin,” the lawsuit states.

As a result of the attack, Jordan experienced pain and suffering, embarrassment and humiliation, loss of ability to enjoy life’s pleasures, disfigurement, emotional distress, property damage and incidental costs.

The plaintiff also incurred past and future medical expenses.

The complaint contains various counts of negligence, assault and battery.

It also accuses the defendants of violating Pennsylvania’s Dram Shop Act by serving alcohol to an overly intoxicated person.

Jordan seeks damages in excess of $50,000, plus interest, costs, delay damages and punitive damages.


The case ID number is 120802600. 

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