Ian Cassel v. Dragon Gate Chinese Restaurant

James E. Banks

Case Conclusion Date:July 25, 2013

Practice Area:Personal Injury

Outcome:Judgment for Plaintiff $226,096.77

Description:This King County Superior Court case concerned the liability of Dragon Gate Chinese Restaurant to Plaintiff Ian Cassel for personal injury damages (abdominal laceration) caused by Dragon Gate’s negligent violation of restaurant safety rules. On October 9, 2010, Dragon Gate served hard alcohol over the course of several hours to Armando Guerra, Sayde Guerra, and Kenyon Guerra, all of whom became inebriated. Dragon Gate then allowed the Guerras to remain on its premises after their conduct had become obstreperous and aggressive to such a degree that Dragon Gate knew or ought to have known that the Guerras endangered other patrons. Dragon Gate failed to take measures for the protection other business invitees: Dragon Gate chose not to eject the Guerras and Dragon Gate chose not call 911. Dragon Gate bartender, Greg Bonus, argued with the Guerras for a substantial amount of time, and at one point told them to “pay the ‘F***ing’ bill and get the “F***’ out of here.” The Guerras exhibited several signs of aggressive behavior, argued with other customers, yelled profanities, threw a bar stool that assaulted Ren Chang, and numerous other red flags. Despite all these warning signs, Dragon Gate failed to take appropriate measures to protect other patrons. Armando Guerra eventually pulled out a knife and cut three customers, severely injuring them. Plaintiff Ian Cassel was one of those customers. Mr. Cassel sought compensation for his injuries caused by Dragon Gate’s violations of restaurant safety rules. After a vigorously fought arbitration hearing, the arbitrator determined that Dragon Gate must be held accountable for its violations of several safety rules, and allowed $226,000 for Mr. Cassel's damages.