$10M Prince George’s County Wrongful Death Lawsuit Seeks Damages Over Man’s Fatal Stabbing

The mother of George Harrison Cooper III is suing Prince George’s County officials and the owners and operators of the CFE Event Center for his Maryland wrongful death. The 25-year-old Washington DC man was murdered last August during a stabbing incident at the Forestville club. Now, Tracy Cooper is seeking $10 million on behalf of her son’s estate.

The stabbing took place on August 22, 2010 at around 3:30 in the morning. No arrests have been made.

In her Prince George’s County wrongful death complaint alleging Maryland premises liability, Cooper accuses CFE owners Bernida Williams and Kevin Darby of running the club as if it were a dance hall, even though its permit prohibits this. She also contends that the defendants provided inadequate security even though there had been other violent incidents outside and inside the club.

CFE was one of several clubs that were temporarily shut down in 2007 following an increase in club-related crimes, including homicides. It reopened after promising to provide better security. Since then, however, there has been about one homicide at CFE a year. The club has also been temporarily shut down twice for health and fire code violations. Cooper claims the county failed to properly supervise the club’s security efforts after it reopened in 2007 and did not take action after CFE violated its permit.

Property owners of clubs, bars, restaurants, and other venues must make sure there is adequate security on the grounds so that violent crimes don’t happen. Depending on the specifics of the incident, a person injured in a crime that occurred on someone else’s premise may have grounds for a Maryland personal injury case against both the assailant and the property owner.

Mother sues Prince George’s County, Forestville club after son killed inside, Gazette.net, February 22, 2011
Mother of slain man works to close Prince George’s club CFE, The Washington Post, September 16, 2010
More Blog Posts:
Family of Murdered Baltimore Woman Files $14 Million Wrongful Death Lawsuit, Maryland Accident Law Blog, December 11, 2007
Recent Shootings at Safeway and Walmart Raises the Question of How Liable Premises are for Violent Crimes, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, January 23, 2011
DC Metro Assault Crimes: Does WMATA Provide Adequate Security?, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog, August 27, 2010

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