NORMA ELLINGTON AND CLIFTON ELLINGTON, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS NEXT FRIENDS AND NATURAL PARENTS OF JEROME ELLINGTON, Deceased v. JACKSON BOWLING & FAMILY FUN CENTER, L.L.C., JACKSON BOWLING & RECREATION CENTER, INC., AND JOHN DOE

This is a wrongful death action predicated on premises liability. The lawsuit arose out of a fight in the parking lot of a bowling alley owned by the defendants. After the plaintiffs’ 19- year-old son punched a member of a rival gang, another member of the rival gang drove up and shot the plaintiffs’ son in the chest, killing him. The plaintiffs filed this lawsuit against the defendant bowling alley owners for the wrongful death of their son; they asserted that the defendants acted negligently or recklessly in failing to provide adequate security on their premises. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. The trial court granted the motion on two bases: (1) the defendants did not owe a duty to the plaintiffs’ son to protect him from the criminal acts of others, and (2) the undisputed evidence demonstrated that the plaintiffs’ son was at least 50% at fault for his death. The plaintiffs now appeal. We reverse, finding that the standard for summary judgment under Hannan v. Alltel Publishing Company has not been met in this case.

Attorney 1: 

Randall J. Fishman and Richard S. Townley, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Plaintiffs/Appellants Norma Ellington and Clifton Ellington, individually and on behalf of Jerome Ellington

Attorney 2: 

Richard Glassman and James F. Horner, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, for the Defendants/Appellees Jackson Bowling & Family Fun Center, L.L.C., and Jackson Bowling & Recreation Center, Inc.

Judge: 
KIRBY
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