Dishwasher sues Pasta House owners after co-worker stabs him with kitchen knife

Kelly Holleran Dec. 21, 2010, 2:41pm


A man has filed suit against the owners of a restaurant where he says he was repeatedly stabbed.

Mark A. Young claims he was working as a dishwasher at Pasta House in Edwardsville on March 12, 2009, when the incident occurred.

Young, who was not originally scheduled to work March 12, received a phone call from kitchen manager and defendant James D. Higdon asking him to work an extra shift. At first, Young expressed his reluctance to do so because of "unpleasant history and interactions" between him and Pasta House kitchen employee Bruce Moore, who was also working that evening, according to the complaint filed Dec. 16 in Madison County Circuit Court.

After Higdon's assurances that there would be no problems with Moore, Young agreed to work the shift, the suit states.
However, soon after Young's arrival, Moore left the kitchen and appeared at Young's side, threatening to mortally harm Young, the complaint says.

Following Moore's threats, Higdon demanded Moore return to the
kitchen and suggested Young leave the premises, Young claims.

"While Plaintiff was outside the Pasta House parking lot and attempting to leave, Pasta House kitchen employee Moore again approached, confronted and then attacked and repeatedly stabbed Plaintiff with a large Pasta House kitchen knife, causing Plaintiff to suffer severe and permanent injury," the suit states.

Because of the stabbing, Young suffered severe and permanent injuries to his chest, abdomen, lower back, buttocks, bilateral thighs, left knee, right arm and left hand, the complaint says. In addition, he claims he incurred medical costs, lost earnings, experienced an impaired ability to return to work and experienced physical pain and mental suffering. Young also lost his enjoyment for life and sustained permanent disfigurement and disability, according to the complaint.

In addition to Higdon, Young names Pasta House owners P.H.C. Edwardsville Enterprises, P.H.C. Edwardsville Holdings, P.H.C. Edwardsville, Ozark Catering and Ozark Catering Company as defendants.

The defendants negligently created a dangerous situation by inviting Young to work for them at the same time as Moore when they knew of problems between the two employees, failed to keep their premises reasonably safe, failed to exercise reasonable care to protect Young, failed to adequately supervise their employees and failed to provide Young with a safe exit, the suit states. In addition, they failed to warn Young of Moore's impending attack, which they should have anticipated, the complaint says.

In his four-count complaint, Young is seeking a judgment of more than $200,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Stephen J. Telken of Schoen, Walton, Telken and Foster in East St. Louis will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-1252.

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