Motion to dismiss hearing set June 28 in case against Smokehouse and alleged attacker

By Ann Maher | May 15, 2013


A defendant accused of violently beating and kicking a fellow patron of The Smokehouse Bar in Pierron is asking Madison County Dennis Ruth to defend the suit as an indigent person.

Ruth on May 10 set a hearing on defendant Mary E. Murphy’s application as well as a defense motion to dismiss at 1:30 p.m. on June 28.

Plaintiff Shelia Mae Carter sued the bar and Murphy last December claiming the attack took place on Feb. 22, 2012, at 11:33 p.m. Murphy allegedly struck Carter and forced her to the ground and proceeded to beat her, the suit says.

County Line Smokehouse, doing business as Smokehouse Bar, filed a motion to dismiss, claiming a landowner has no duty to protect third parties from criminal acts that occur on its premises. A duty may arise only if the landowner should have foreseen or expected the criminal act would occur, the bar argues.

Carter, represented by Mark D. Hassakis of Hassakis & Hassakis  in Mt. Vernon, responded to the bar’s motion to dismiss saying that sufficient facts that Smokehouse saw or could have reasonably foreseen the criminal assault have been pled. It also states that Ruth should deny the bar’s motion as the discovery process has not been completed and may yield additional facts.

Carter seeks in excess of $50,000.

John P. Cunningham and Daniel G. Hasenstab of Brown & James represent County Line Smokehouse.

Madison County case number 12-L-2044.

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