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Waffle House Wrongful Death Case Broadens

Q: Can multiple people or entities be liable for a wrongful death?

Only an hour or so into the New Year, a Waffle House restaurant was the scene of a double shooting that injured one and left another man dead.

Now the dead man’s mother and children are reportedly pursuing a Missouri wrongful death lawsuit against the Waffle House, a security guard, and the company that hired him.

According to police, the security guard entered the restaurant to break up a fight between two occupants during which one allegedly pulled a gun and shot and injured the other. The security guard thereafter allegedly shot and killed a different man in the restaurant because he “felt threatened”. The guard has reportedly not yet been criminally charged in the incident.

Under Missouri premises liability law, if someone is injured due to poor or unsafe conditions on a commercial or residential property, the property owner may be held liable for damages. A “reasonableness” standard is often used when assessing the property’s condition.

Under Missouri employment law, an employer may be sued for negligently hiring an employee if the employee in the course of doing their job, causes harm to someone else that was reasonably foreseeable or preventable.

And in Missouri wrongful death cases, the closest surviving family members of a person who was killed as a result of the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions or inactions of someone else, may be entitled to compensation for their psychological pain and financial losses if they can establish liability.

The wrongful death lawsuit reportedly alleges that:

  • the guard was negligent in shooting and killing the patron;
  • the guard’s employer negligently “created an unreasonable risk of harm to others in hiring him”; and
  • Waffle House was negligent in “failing to take measures to ensure that violent criminals would not bring dangerous instrumentalities, such as a loaded handgun, on to Waffle House premises.”

Wrongful death cases are complicated with respect to which family members have standing to sue and what kind of damages they may be entitled to recover but a skilled personal injury attorney can help navigate the process.

If you or a loved one has been injured, or a loved one has been killed, as a result of the negligence of another person or entity, the Noland Law Firm can help you maximize the financial compensation to which you may be entitled. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

From our offices in Liberty, we represent injured people and their families throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area and Western Missouri.

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