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Club security and negligence at Hip Hop Show

Recently, Leav & Steinberg, LLP were successful in resolving a case involving a shooting and stampede at a New York City Dinner Club.  The event was advertised to the general public as a hip hop/rap concert.  The advertisement and public ads showed “hip hop gang bangers”; certainly a vision of what the night would be like.  Sadly the club security was lacking any appropriate steps to ensure that weapons were not brought in.  In fact, there were no female security guards and anyone entering would be free to give a female guest a weapon and she would be able to walk right in.

A fight broke out, several people were shot and a resulting stampede resulted in several people being seriously injured while trying to flee for their safety.

Similarly, in Galveston Texas club owners didn’t beef up security for a show featuring two rival rap groups and an aspiring emcee was shot in the head in a fight that could have been expected, his mother claims in court.

As reported by Court News Service Lashendrea Lartigue mother of Malik Lartigue-Pratt only 18 years old at the time of his death, has  sued New Beginnings LLC and its owner Edwin Shelton in Galveston County Court.

New Beginnings owns a hall in La Marque that hosted the Cookie Snow Talk Show on April 9, according to the May 12 complaint.

Family attorney, Cris Rasco said that Shelton and New Beginnings “put profit over safety” and drew a big crowd, knowing it was a powder keg.
“The show featured two competing and potentially violent rap music groups whose members are believed to be prominent in local street gang activity,” the lawsuit states.
Rasco told Courthouse News that New Beginnings typically notifies police about its events.
“It’s a special-events place and it seems like it’s pretty harmless or docile because they have weddings, receptions, you know, different things there,” Rasco said.
“And whenever they have an event they usually, it was their habit, or custom, to tell the La Marque Police Department. The chief of police of La Marque told me they didn’t tell them anything about this thing.”
A fight broke out and spilled into a parking lot and Lartigue-Pratt jumped into his friend Nicholas McGill’s car, according to the complaint.

Under NY Law and similar in Texas if a party names the assailant that party can be placed on the verdict sheet and assigned fault for the event.  In Texas, McGill is also a defendant in the lawsuit. The mother claims that McGill had weapons in his car and knew the show could become violent.

In the matter Leav & Steinberg, LLP handled the assailants were never discovered and such we were able to show that most of the blame fell on the defendant Dinner Club.

Similarly, Edward Steinberg worked at his prior firm and was able to assist on the City College Stampede in 1991 which left nine dead and injured many others.  On December 28, 1991 thousands attended a concert being held by Sean Combs formerly known as Puff Daddy and Heavy D.   Unfortunately, inadequate steps were taken to monitor the amount of space available vs. tickets sold and when doors were open and many shut out of getting in, the rushed the doors only to be trapped and trampled.

Hopefully, with a focus on improving security and better planning and putting safety over profit, such tragedies will no longer occur.