Sports fans can get a little territorial, but when fandom is mixed with alcohol, the results could be deadly.
Red Sox fan Monte Freire knows better than most the perils of drunk, rabid fans after he was stabbed by a drunken Yankees fan in 2010 and suffered life-threatening injuries. Freire was awarded $4.3 million on Thursday in a lawsuit against the restaurant that he claims is a case of sheer negligence.
Freire was watching a game at the U.S.S. Chowder Pot in Branford, Conn., when the Yankees fan, John Mayor, came over to inform them they were in Yankee territory. Freire said he and other patrons warned the bartenders that Mayor was getting out of hand and trying to start a fight, but they still sold him alcohol despite the complaints.
Freire was then stabbed in the neck by Mayor and suffered a stroke that has left him with impaired speech and vision. Mayor was arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison, but Freire felt the restaurant should be held accountable as well for its negligence. And on Thursday, a jury in New Haven, Conn. awarded Friere $4.3 million in his lawsuit against the restaurant.
“We’re grateful that the jury was very attentive," said Timothy Pothin, Freire’s lawyer. "They understood our case and held the Chowder Pot responsible for its employees’ negligence. Perhaps this will provide a lesson to other bars and nightclubs in our community and their insurance carriers who continue to maintain untenable positions in cases of clear negligence.”
The restaurant, however, plans to appeal the decision, according to the lawyer representing the business, Jan Trendowski.
“How they make the jump from jerk to stabbing, that’s the real issue here,” Trendowski said. “What is the sane response to the insane situation? If you don’t know why he stabbed him how can you possibly say that something contributed to it?”