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Lawsuits & Litigation

Real Estate Company Sues 90 People Over Cincinnati Damage During Summer Riots

— October 21, 2020

A real estate company in Cincinnati is suing 90 people in a class-action lawsuit arguing they “participated, aided and abetted, ratified, tacitly consented, and promoted a pattern of riotous conduct.” This suit was filed earlier this month in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court and is seeking compensation for the “property damage and theft that took place alongside protests prompted by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minnesota.”

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Law Books; image courtesy of witwiccan via Pixabay,

During the protests, windows were broken in shops throughout downtown, “Over-the-Rhine and near the University of Cincinnati.” To make matters worse, many businesses were looted. Things got to the point in the city where a curfew had to be implemented, and “around 500 people were arrested in 4 days.”

The suit was filed by Court Street Executive Suites and hopes to have other businesses and property owners join the suit. According to the suit, the plaintiff compares “the unrest this summer in Cincinnati to the 1884 courthouse riot which left 50 people dead and burned the courthouse to the ground.” It further states “both incidents were spurred on by the perceived unfairness of the criminal justice system…(In 1884), each member of the rioting crowd was civilly and criminally responsible, because each encouraged, aided, or participated in the riot.”

The suit adds the “protests this summer turned into a riot, which continued for three nights: a concerted course of arson, assaults, damage to public property and business establishments, as well as extensive looting.”

Court Street Executive Suites is represented by attorney William Blessing. Court Street Executive Suites owns the building that houses Blessing’s office. When commenting on the suit, Blessing said:

“In other states the law allows businesses to sue the municipal government for failing to maintain the peace, but Ohio does not allow for that, so his clients are seeking compensation straight from the alleged perpetrators.” 

He added the defendants were “chosen based on arrest reports related to the protests and unrest. Blessing said his investigation is continuing and more defendants could be added to the case.” The suit further states:

“Those who participated, connived, conspired, tacitly consented to, aided, abetted, ratified, or encouraged the rioting are just as responsible for the injuries and damages as are the specific perpetrators.” 

Jennifer Kinsley, the lawyer representing some of the defendants, said “the city’s basis for charging her clients with misconduct in an emergency was solely because they were outside after curfew.” She added, “They were engaged in ongoing peaceful protest and others were just trying to return to their cars or their residences to comply with the order but were unable to do so due to the large crowd.”

Kinsley added she is attempting to have the suit dismissed and added that many of the defendants “and have no money to pay damages even if they were responsible for property damage.” She said, “This isn’t 1884. This is 2020. We respect the right of free speech and we do not sue people for other people’s actions.”


Downtown business sues 90 people for damages related to summer ‘rioting’

90 sued for damage done during George Floyd protests

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