Back in March of this year, 20-year-old Brett D. Rodgers II was shot and killed “on the premises of the Hog Wild Saloon,” and his family wants justice. Earlier this week, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed in Sullivan County Circuit Court regarding the incident, and it claims that Rodgers would “still be alive id Hog Wild Saloon had provided adequate security.”
When is the last time you and some friends went out to enjoy a night at a restaurant or bar? Chances are you did so without worrying that someone may end up pulling a gun on you in a parking lot. Unfortunately, something like this happened earlier this year and ended up claiming the life of a 20-year-old man. Back in March of this year, 20-year-old Brett D. Rodgers II was shot and killed “on the premises of the Hog Wild Saloon,” and his family wants justice. Earlier this week, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed in Sullivan County Circuit Court regarding the incident, and it claims that Rodgers would “still be alive id Hog Wild Saloon had provided adequate security.”
Since the fatal incident, the once popular bar in Kingsport has closed down and the perpetrator who shot Rodgers, William Newkirk Jr., 17, has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.
The suit itself is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, not to exceed $25 million. But what happened? Why do the plaintiffs argue the saloon was largely responsible for the shooting? Well, according to the suit, prior to the day of the shooting, the “Hog Wild Saloon was negligently maintained, inspected, secured, patrolled and managed.” Despite knowing that the property needed better security, the business failed to provide it. The establishment’s negligence created “an unreasonable risk of injury to invitees, including Mr. Rodgers.”
Additionally, the suit claims the establishment “failed to use security cameras and security personnel or protocol,” and maintains that the defendants “failed to conduct pat-downs or search people when they entered, prohibit minors or unauthorized persons from entering, prohibit unlawful firearms and control who entered and left the building.”
The suit goes on to state that the owners of the Hog Wild Saloon were aware that there was frequent “crime at the facility and failed to protect guests.” It adds:
“Mr. Rodgers was shot and killed due to a lack of appropriate security measures on the premises…Because defendants should have had knowledge of the dangerous environment of the premises, defendants are liable for the negligent supervision, hiring, training, and retention of its employees and for the entrustment of the premises to its agents and employees. This negligence proximately caused the death of Mr. Rodgers.”
The wrongful death suit is still pending but is expected to go to trial.
The establishment shut down shortly after the fatal incident and the “property was recently donated to a nonprofit organization for the purpose of transforming it into a faith-based jobs center.” However, building itself was recently condemned by the city and set to be demolished over structural issues.