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Martini Bar shooting victims may have case for Personal Injury, Wrongful Death Claims

Martini Bar, negligent security, GOLDLAW, Doral, murder, wrongful death, personal injury claim, George Castellanos

On Saturday, April 6, two people were killed, and seven injured after a gunfight broke out at the Martini Bar in the CityPlace Doral mall in Doral, Florida. The families of all the victims may have excellent cases to recover compensation.

Fight at Martini Bar leads to shootout between gunman and police

According to investigators, an altercation among bar patrons broke out at approximately 3:30am. However, when a security guard George Alejandro Castellanos attempted to break-up the fight, a man identified as Jamal Wayne Wood pulled out a handgun and shot Castellanos. Doral Police Department officers working in the area responded to the scene, where they encountered the gunman and exchanged fire, killing him.

Two Doral officers discharged their weapons during the incident, including one who was shot. Six bystanders also suffered gunshot wounds. According to Doral Police Chief Edwin Lopez, “It’s too early to tell who was shot by who.”

Injuries not life threatening

The injured officer, a four-year veteran of the force, sustained a wound to the lower leg. He applied a tourniquet immediately after being struck. Two women and four men were also shot. One victim who was transported to Jackson Trauma Center and one who was taken to Kendall Regional Trauma Center were listed in critical condition. The other four were in stable condition, said a police spokesperson.

Potential breakdown in security protocols may have led to shooting at Martini Bar

According to a Martini Bar employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity, it is protocol to check for weapons at the door.

In an interview with a local television station, the individual said, “All men get patted down on their waist, their chest, on their backs, on their legs, feet. They get patted down everywhere, and then the women’s purses get checked, too.” The employee, however, said on Friday night, there was a change of staff.

“Our main pat-down guy that we’ve had for the past three or four years, he wasn’t there Friday night for the first time. It was a brand new guy that was there.”

Martini Bar staff is unarmed

According to the employee, shooting victim Castellanos and others on the in-house bar security team were not armed. As the head of security, Castellanos tried to defuse the situation, but Wood began to fire indiscriminately, getting off 10-15 shots according to other witnesses.

City Officials meet to review the incident, discuss city ordinances

At an emergency meeting held on Wednesday, April 10, Doral Mayor Christi Fragaduring proposed two amendments to the current ordinance that allows nightclubs to be open until 3:59am – that nightclubs and bars close two hours earlier at 2:00am, and that businesses stop selling alcohol at 1:30am. The amendment would also require security guards at these businesses to have metal detectors at the entrance. The original ordinance allowing nightclubs and bars to stay open until 3:59am was created in 2007. The Doral City Council will meet to have a first reading of the amended ordinance on April 24 and a second reading on May 8.

Shooting victim George Castellanos remembered as “beloved son, brother, father and friend”

George Castellanos, the head of security who was killed in the shooting was heading for a bright future. According to a GoFundMe page set up for his family, “Gordo,” was known for his “infectious smile and uplifting energy,” and “had the power to brighten any room he walked into. The 23-year-old was expected to graduate from Florida International University in June with a degree in biological science. He was minoring in criminal justice and was on his way to becoming a police officer. He is survived by his family, including his one-year-old daughter.

Businesses owe customers a duty of protection

While it is not known if Martini Bar in Doral has been the site of previous acts of violence, Florida law is clear: property owners must take reasonable steps to protect guests from foreseeable dangers. With investigations ongoing, if having armed and unarmed security was enough to protect patrons from potential dangers. The fact, however, that Martini Bar was missing a key employee who handled preforming security tasks like “patting down” individuals to check for weapons raises serious questions? Was the replacement doing that job properly trained? Were other employees capable of handling a situation similar to the shootout that happened? If the answer is “no” to these questions or others, then the owner of the establishment could potentially be negligent of not providing adequate security measures, opening the doors for victims and their families to pursue personal injury and wrongful death cases.

Proving a Negligent Security Claim in Florida

Generally speaking, if you or a loved one was injured on another person’s property due to their negligence in providing adequate security, there are four elements that must be present for such a claim to be successful:

1. The property owner owed you a duty of care.

A property owner must take reasonable measures to ensure the safety of those legally permitted to be on their premises.

2. The property owner breached their duty.

This occurs when the property owner fails to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of those on their premises and someone is injured.

3. You sustained injuries as a result of the breach of duty.

You must have actually suffered harm for there to be a valid negligent security claim. This harm can be physical, emotional, or financial in nature.

4.Your injuries were reasonably foreseeable under the circumstances.

It must be/have been reasonably clear to the reasonable person that there was a danger present and that someone could get hurt if action was not taken to address it.

Call GOLDLAW…We have the Experience You Need!

If you or someone you care about has sustained an injury caused by the negligent actions of a property owner, we encourage you to reach out to a GOLDLAW attorney as soon as possible! You may be able to recover compensation for your losses, and the experts at GOLDLAW know what it takes to take on the insurance companies and win! So, “Choose the 2’s,” and call 561-222-2222, or contact us here to schedule your COMPLIMENTARY consultation!