East St. Louis nightclub sued over patron's death
A deceased man's estate claims the man died at the hands of an East St. Louis nightclub employee after racial harassment remarks got out of control.
Robert A. Rice and Annette Nash-Smith, co-administrators of the estate of Anthony Rice, filed a lawsuit April 1 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against City Nights Inc. doing business as Miss Kitty's II, owners Woodrow and Gail Allen and employee Reginald O. Allen.
The plaintiffs claim Anthony Rice, his brother and two friends attempted to pay a $5 cover charge to enter Miss Kitty's II on Oct. 3.
"Before Mr. Rice could pay the price of admission, a second employee, identified as having a swastika tattoo on his neck, told him that he was not allowed to enter the club," the suit states. "As Mr. Rice and his associates attempted to exit the premises they were racially harassed and insulted by Reginald Allen and other employees of City Nights. Reginald Allen and other employees of City Nights quickly escalated the verbal insults into acts of physical violence against Mr. Rice and associates."
Reginald Allen then drove an automobile into Anthony Rice, causing Rice to sustain massive and fatal injuries from which he died on Oct. 3, according to the complaint.
At the time of his death, Anthony Rice left behind two children, ages one and five, the complaint says.
The plaintiffs blame Miss Kitty's II and owners Woodrow and Gail Allen for partially causing Anthony Rice's death, saying the night club hired Reginald Allen despite its knowledge of his violent criminal history, failed to properly monitor and control its employees, failed to take necessary precautions to prevent Reginald Allen from striking Anthony Rice with his automobile and failed to render first aid or to provide medical attention to Anthony Rice.
They say Reginald Allen negligently failed to take necessary precautions to prevent contact between his vehicle and Anthony Rice, failed to properly observe Anthony Rice's presence, failed to properly monitor and control the vehicle he was driving and failed to render first aid or to provide medical attention for Anthony Rice.
In their six-count complaint, the plaintiffs seek a judgment of more than $250,000, plus attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.
Lloyd M. Cueto of the Law Office of Lloyd M. Cueto in Belleville and Staci M. Yandle of the Law Office of Staci M. Yandle in Belleville will be representing them.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-156.