Rap concert-goers claim they were attacked at ESL venue

Kelly Holleran Feb. 6, 2012, 2:25am


Five people who claim they were attacked and stampeded during a brawl at a rap concert have filed suit against the East St. Louis night club where the incident occurred.

The plaintiffs claim they were attending a rap concert at Blackmon's Plaza on April 2 and April 3, 2011, when a brawl broke out. During the attack, numerous patrons began punching and striking each other with hands and bar stools, according to the complaint filed Jan. 19 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Security guards had chained an exit door shut, so patrons were trapped in a corner of the bar, where they continued to be pummeled, the suit states.

Because of the incident, plaintiffs Terra Jenkins and Henry Carpenter claim they were stampeded by other patrons. Jenkins received severe injuries to her back, left foot and left ankle while Carpenter received neck and right arm injuries, the complaint says.

Plaintiff Willie Spratt claims he was also stampeded by patrons. In addition, he suffered from a blow to the head and was attacked by security officers, resulting in serious injuries, according to the complaint.

Plaintiff Elmer Smith was hit in the head with a stool, the complaint says. As a result, he had to receive seven or eight staples in his head, according to the complaint.

All plaintiffs claim they were prevented from attending to their normal duties, lost wages and suffered a great deal of pain and anguish. They also incurred medical costs, according to the complaint.

In addition to Blackmon's Plaza, the defendants name Trill Entertainment and its chief executive officer as defendants, saying they negligently failed to prevent an attack, failed to warn of the possibility of an attack and failed to provide adequate security.

In their 20-count suit, the plaintiffs are seeking a judgment of $305,757.05 and compensatory damages of more than $800,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

They will be represented by Mark C. Scoggins of Crowder and Scoggins in Columbia.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-38.

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