On July 28, 2014, Brett R. Bloch, Senior Partner of our firm, completed a week long trial defending a Jensen Beach, Florida-based restaurant alleged to have provided inadequate security regarding a patron who was assaulted by another patron.
Joseph Perratto was a patron at Mulligan's Beach House Bar and Grille when he confronted Donald Cikauskas for making a racial insult about Perratto's friend. A confrontation between the two men ensued and Cikauskas was thereafter immediately ejected by Mulligan's employees. After approximately 30 minutes and wearing different clothing, Cikauskas returned to the restaurant and immediately attacked Perratto in the head with a club that he had hidden under his sweatshirt. Mulligan's manager was also injured when apprehending Cikauskas. Cikauskas is presently serving a 35 year prison sentence for the attempted murder of the Plaintiff and the manager.
In his lawsuit, Perratto asserted that Mulligan's failed to provide adequate security at the restaurant and should have maintained security personnel at the doors and throughout the restaurant which would have prevented Cikauskas from returning to the restaurant. On the restaurant's behalf, we contended that such security measures were unreasonable for a restaurant and that the attack upon the Plaintiff was instead a direct result of Perratto's confrontation of Cikauskas during which he antagonized Cikauskas and physically forced him back into the chair in which he was seated. In closing arguments, the Plaintiff requested a $710,000 damage award.
After eight and one-half hours of deliberations, the jury found in favor of the Plaintiff, but assessed him 85 percent comparatively responsible for his injuries. Additionally, the jury awarded the Plaintiff, after reduction for his comparative liability, only $28,624.95
Joseph Perratto v. Donald Cikauskas and Shore Restaurants- Vero Beach, LLC, a Florida Corporation, d/b/a Mulligan's Beach House Bar and Grille, case no. 12 CA 1942 venued in the Circuit Court of the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit in and for Martin County, Florida. Hon. James McCann presiding.