A night on the town in 2012 may have ended with major physical injury for a San Diego club goer, but she successfully fought back in Superior Court of San Diego earlier this month with the help of the law firm of Carpenter, Zuckerman, & Rowley.
Lisa Lopez suffered blindness to her right eye as a result of an altercation in Rich’s Nightclub in San Diego, when a friend and his ex-girlfriend began arguing. Lopez was between the two, trying to diffuse the situation, when the ex-girlfriend smashed a beer bottle onto her forehead and eye, resulting in significant facial lacerations, severe damage and vision loss to her right eye. The assailant was reportedly intoxicated and over-served by staff.
Lopez was represented by Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley attorneys Nicholas Rowley, Theresa Bowen and Haytham Faraj, who convinced the jury that the night club staff and security were negligent at the time of the incident by failing to deescalate the situation. The firm’s attorneys also proved that XL Security destroyed evidence of the video footage capturing the assault, which the court and jury took into consideration.
“The employees at the nightclub behind the bar […] decided to laugh and serve more alcohol instead of stop the violence, and the security staff whose sole job is to protect patrons at the club chose to do nothing to diffuse this situation which lasted 5-10 minutes before Lisa intervened. Then the Defendants destroyed the video footage,” said Rowley. “Despite the customer having a bottle shattered on her face and bleeding profusely, the club did not skip a beat or stop the music, and instead decided to continue the party and keep selling alcohol. This was a case of profit over safety.
“The jury in this case realized the fault of club employees and understood the importance of protecting people from violence rather than doing nothing or egging it on with laughter. They also clearly understood the severe impact this event had on Lisa’s life.”
The jury awarded $2.5 million for past non-economic losses and $4.0 million for future non-economic losses, resulting in a total verdict of $6.5 million.
The case was 37-2013-00080607-CU-PO-CTL.