Madison - St. Clair Record

Friday, October 18, 2019

Dram Shop suit at trial in Judge Ruth’s courtroom

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Oct 13, 2015


A Dram Shop suit against Daddie-O’s Nite Out in Wood River is at trial this week in Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth’s courtroom.

Plaintiff William D. Odom filed the seven-count lawsuit on May 5, 2014, against John P. Heitman, Daddie-O’s Nite Out Inc., Richard L. Campbell, individually and as liquor licensee, Brian Campbell, individually and as liquor licensee, and Richard L. Campbell Trust, as property owner.

Represented by Patrick G. King of the King Law Firm in Alton, Odom argues that the defendants sold alcohol to Heitman on May 12, 2013, causing him to become intoxicated. Odom claims he was on the Daddie-O’s pool team and was on the premises at the same time as Heitman.

While intoxicated, Odom claims Heitman began making sexual remarks and yelled obscenities, profanities and fighting words at the bartender and other patrons. As a result, the bartender allegedly demanded for Heitman to leave the establishment, but he refused.

Odom, along with other patrons, “assisted and attempted with the peaceful removal of John P. Heitman from the inside of Daddie-O’s at the direction and request of the bartender,” the suit states.

Odom claims Heitman responded by physically striking him, causing him to fall and land against a pool table and the floor.

As a result of the altercation, Odom claims he suffered severe and permanent injuries to his right shoulder.

Odom alleges Daddie-O’s failed to properly hire and maintain security guards or bouncers for the safety of patrons, failed to hire security guards or bouncers to stop or prevent the physical attack, failed to properly train staff members to prevent or stop the attack, failed to timely call 911 before the physical attack and requested and relied upon other patrons to remove Heitman.

Represented by Stephen J. Moore of Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr & Smith in St. Louis, Daddie-O’s and the Campbell defendants argue that the plaintiff provoked the alleged incident by becoming intoxicated and acting in a reckless, offensive and careless manner; provoking and willingly, purposefully and intentionally engaging in and allowing the alleged incident when it could have been avoided; actively provoked the conduct of Heitman through verbal threats; engaged in a personal dispute; and voluntarily, freely and willfully participated in the attempted removal of Heitman.

They also claim Odom actively contributed to or procured Heitman’s intoxication by willingly encouraging the drinking which caused the alleged intoxication; voluntarily participating in the alleged drinking; actively contributing to the alleged intoxication; and actively provoking the conduct of Heitman through verbal threats and fighting words.

The defendants argue that Odom’s alleged injuries were the result of his own fault for failing to take care for his own safety and failing to act reasonably under the circumstances.

Odom seeks more than $50,000 for each count, plus costs.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 14-L-667

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Galloway Johnson Tompkins and Burr King Law Firm, LLC

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