Dancing patron's suit against Martin's Pub on hold while appellate court decides

Amelia Flood Aug. 30, 2010, 9:30am

A case against the owners of a Granite City tavern is on hold as a Sept. 7 trial is off.

Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis stayed proceedings in the case brought by plaintiff Brandy Moerlien against Dale and Kim Martin, the owners of Martin's Pub, until the Fifth District Appellate Court rules on a previous order dismissing the case.

Callis entered the stay order Aug. 20.

The suit had been set for trial next week.

Moerlien is suing the Martins for more than $50,000 in damages plus costs.

The plaintiff contends in her second amended complaint that the defendants invited her and other female patrons to dance on the bar of their tavern on Thursday nights.

Moerlien claims she was dancing on the bar when she was struck with a beer bottle by a third person.

The plaintiff claims the Martins were negligent in having "girls dancing upon their bar," and that they should have anticipated the crowd in their tavern would grow so "rowdy" that those dancing on the bar could be in harm's way.

The defendants moved to dismiss the suit for want of prosecution.

Callis granted that move.

In an order entered Aug. 20 immediately prior to the stay, Callis found that a question of law exists in the case.

That question, according to the order, is, "Is an injury/insult to a person's reasonable sense of personal dignity a recoverable element of damages in a negligence case, where the negligence alleged is a failure to prevent a battery?"

The order and stay were entered over the Martins' objections.

Callis took over the case late last year when she transferred Madison County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack's civil docket to her own.

The plaintiff is represented by Mark Levy.

The Martins are represented by John Cunningham.

The case is Madison case number 05-L-483.

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