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Bar altercation settled for $37,500

Plaintiff was a 33-year-old female who went to a bar/restaurant in Portsmouth with several of her friends. At some point during the evening, she ended up being the only person at her table and was advised by a waitress that the bill for her table had gone unpaid. The plaintiff denied having consumed food or beverage and, accordingly, declined to pay the bill. She was prevented from leaving the bar/restaurant by the restaurant owner. The situation quickly degenerated into a pushing and screaming contest between the plaintiff and the bar owner. When the altercation ended, the plaintiff fled on foot and the defendant retrieved a hand gun from his ankle holster and, according to him, fired the gun one time into the air. The plaintiff and several witnesses testified that he actually aimed the gun at her and fired it between three or four times. The plaintiff was not hit by any of the bullets.
The plaintiff was seen and evaluated at a local emergency department the next day. She then consulted her family physician who referred her to a chiropractor and to a psychiatrist for treatment of her injuries, both physical and emotional.
Type of Action: Assault/negligent infliction of emotional distress
Type of Injuries: Abrasions, muscle strains and sprains, post-traumatic stress disorder
Name of Case: Worlds v. Lion LLC
Court: Portsmouth Circuit Court
Special Damages: $2,187.00 in medical damages. In addition, plaintiff asserted a $5,000.00 lost wage claim which was vigorously contested by counsel for defendant.
Verdict/Settlement: Settlement
Judge: John E. Clarkson
Insurance Carrier: Hartford Mutual Insurance Company
Settlement Date: Sept. 22, 2006
Settlement Amount: $37,500.00
Plaintiff’s Attorneys: James C. Lewis, Virginia Beach; Joseph C. Lindsey, Norfolk

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