VERDICT: $4.78 Million in St. Lucie County Negligent Security Case
Following a two week trial at the St. Lucie County Courthouse, Haggard Law Firm attorneys Michael Haggard, Christopher Marlowe, and James Blecke obtained a $4.783 Million verdict in a negligent security case involving the murder of a mother of three.
42-year-old Fort Pierce resident Tanya Oliver was shot in the parking lot of the Elks Lodge in Fort Pierce on March 2, 2015. She eventually succumbed to her wounds and died on July 5, 2016.
Haggard Law represented the Oliver’s children in this negligent security case, including one minor who was orphaned by Oliver’s preventable killing.
The shooting occurred in the parking lot of the Elks Lodge in Ft. Pierce which was operating as a nightclub. There was a fight inside the business when the shooter’s group initiated conflict with the victim’s friend. All combatants were ejected from inside of the club into the parking lot, where the fight promptly resumed, lasting anywhere from 10-20 minutes. There was no security in the parking lot, no one called 911, and the “bouncers” did not ensure that all parties left the premises after the first fight inside the bar. After the second fight, the shooters left the property and returned almost immediately to the parking lot. They blocked in the victim’s car and opened fire, striking Tanya Oliver in the head.
The Defense argued that the Elks Lodge was a benevolent, not-for-profit charitable organization, rather than a “nightclub.” They attempted to portray the initial fight and the eventual shooting as completely unforeseeable and unpreventable, because of the “domestic” nature of the incident, and the long history of feuding between the two women whose conflict led to the fights that evening. “Regardless of the source of the drama which started the fight, the bouncers admitted that they did not follow their own procedures for a fight – they should have either called 911 or separated the parties and ensured that both parties left the premises, neither of which was done here,” said Haggard.
Haggard Law’s Marlowe added, “We know Ms. Oliver is incredibly proud of the strength and love her children have had through the litigation process and a challenging trial. It is an honor to represent this family who seek justice on behalf of their beloved mother.”