The personal injury attorneys at the Smith Law Office are seeking justice in the wrongful death case of Thomas Orr III. As we detailed earlier in our blog, Mr. Orr III – an off-duty police officer – was an innocent bystander when he was fatally shot during a bar fight in Kansas City. The Smith Law Office is representing Mr. Orr III’s father, Thomas Orr, Jr., in a wrongful death case that also includes an allegation of battery.
A large part of the case involves the bar where Mr. Orr was shot. This part of the lawsuit rests on the Missouri law of premises liability.
Poor Bar Security Leads to the Death of Thomas Orr
Thomas Orr III was visiting the Californos bar in the Westport Entertainment District of Kansas City when he was fatally shot.
Kansas City’s Westport Entertainment District has become a dangerous place to visit: There were 16 gun-related offenses in 2016, but no fewer than 65 in the first ten months of 2017. Californos was not immune to the danger that permeated the area. In fact, fights had frequently broken out at the bar’s monthly, all-day party, which was billed as “Recovery Sunday.”
For the August edition of Recovery Sunday, Californos took steps to reduce the violence: They implemented a cover charge to pay for door security. These bouncers were to check incoming patrons for prohibited items, including guns, and keep the premises safe.
The new bar security, however, failed. At least one of the bar’s patrons was able to bring a gun into the bar. When a fight broke out, shots were fired, and Thomas Orr III was fatally wounded.
Businesses Can Be Sued Under Premises Liability Law
Anyone who owns or manages property in Missouri can be held liable for an injury on their grounds under premises liability law. Premises liability cases often stem from someone falling on a dangerous condition that should have been fixed – colloquially known as “slip ‘n fall” cases. However, a businesses’ negligent security can also lead to a premises liability issue if:
- The business had a duty to protect its patrons,
- It failed in that duty, and
- That failure caused one of its patrons to get hurt.
The Negligent Security at Californos Bar
In the wrongful death case being pursued by Mr. Orr’s father, the Smith Law Office is claiming that all three of these requirements are met.
The history of violence – not only in the Westport Entertainment District, but inside Californos bar, itself – showcases the need for the bar to protect its patrons. The fact that the bar went ahead and hired its own door staff – passing on the cost to the people who attended its party – not only shows that Californos knew and understood the danger; it also served as a sign to its patrons that Californos was taking action to protect them from violence.
That Californos’ security detail promptly let weapons into the bar shows that it failed to protect its patrons, and this failure directly led to Mr. Orr’s son being shot and killed.
St. Joseph Personal Injury Attorneys at the Smith Law Office
If you or someone you love has been hurt, the personal injury lawyers at the Smith Law Office in St. Joseph can help you get the compensation you need and deserve. Contact us online or call our law office at (816) 875-9373.