In 2008, three men were tragically shot and killed while attending a Super Bowl promotional event at Uno’s Chicago Grill in Largo, Maryland. The victims and their families sued Uno’s for negligence and wrongful death in this tragic, yet compelling case. During the Super Bowl game, two groups of young men began to argue across the bar. As the argument escalated, the shooter called his friend and asked his friend to deliver a gun to him at Uno’s. Minutes later the shooter’s friend delivered the gun and they re-entered Uno’s. The arguments then continued and further escalated into a face-to-face confrontation. One of the young men removed his shirt prior to engaging in the physical confrontation. Ultimately a brawl ensued and the shooter shot and killed two victims inside the bar. The shooter then chased the third victim into the parking lot where he was shot and killed. As the argument continued and escalated over the course of the game, the manager and employees failed to take any action to intervene or summons help. The evidence showed that Uno’s staff failed to follow its own policies and failed to call on-site security or police until after the shootings.
This tragic event could have been easily avoided had Uno’s employees simply followed it’s ejection policy before the altercation escalated into a violent fight. Due to Uno’s failures, Azrael, Franz, Schwab & Lipowitz filed suit against Uno’s in Prince George’s County Circuit Court on January 25, 2011, alleging negligence and wrongful death. After thoughtful consideration, the jury found that violence and harm was both foreseeable and preventable and awarded the victims’ families $2,333,475 in damages. In the end, justice was served for the families of the victims who lost their lives to a senseless and avoidable act of violence.
“The decision sends a message to business owners that they have to take action and intervene in hostile situations where violence is foreseeable,” said John Solter of Azrael, Franz, Schawb & Lipowitz. “It also says that they can’t provide more alcohol and more food and then just sit by and do nothing when push comes to shove. They have to act.”