Teezer's patron claims spinal cord injuries during bar fight

By Kelly Holleran | Sep 14, 2011

A Caseyville man claims he sustained spinal cord compression injuries during a bar fight.

John Brandes filed a lawsuit Sept. 1 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Todd Vallerius, Corey Ponder and Teezer's.

In his complaint, Brandes alleges he was a patron at Teezer's on Sept. 15, 2009, when Vallerius suddenly attacked him.

Before the attack, Vallerius approached Brandes to ask if Brandes remembered him, according to the complaint. Abruptly, Vallerius began yelling at Brandes, then "charged John and then swung at him and missed," the suit states. "Vallerius then threw his arm around John's head in a head-lock and then immediately dropped to the ground in front of the front door."

Ponder was a bouncer at Teezer's when the attack occurred, but was paid for his duties with alcohol, the complaint says. In turn, he somehow damaged Brandes, although the suit does not specify how this occurred.

Because of the attack, Brandes claims he suffered a disc herniation, spinal cord compression, spinal cord edema, shingles and inflammation. In addition, he continues to suffer from pain, according to the complaint.

Brandes blames Teezer's, in addition to Ponder and Vallerius, for causing the attack, saying it negligently failed to properly train its staff, failed to hire a sufficient number of people to control the crowds, failed to properly supervise staff that had been hired and failed to remove intoxicated patrons before they attacked.

In his three-count complaint, Brandes seeks a judgment of more than $150,000, plus pre-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Jim Ellis of Ellis Law Firm in Belleville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-489.

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