By The Associated Press
HATTIESBURG — A University of Southern Mississippi football player shot outside Remington’s Hunt Club has sued the business and its owner for $87 million in damages.
Martez Smith was one of three football players wounded in a Nov. 14 shooting at the Hattiesburg nightclub. Smith remains paralyzed from the waist down.
The Hattiesburg American reports the lawsuit, filed in Forrest County Circuit Court, alleges negligence and gross negligence on the nightclub’s part.
Listed as defendants in the lawsuit are owner William D. Norris, Champion Lanes LLC, and Hattiesburg Liquid Entertainment LLC. The complaint states the defendants own and operate the Hunt Club.
The lawsuit states Smith was lawfully on the premises of the club as a business invitee.
G. Wayne Hynum, attorney for one of the owners of the club, said Smith was turned away at the door when he arrived because he was intoxicated. Hynum said the altercation that led to the shooting happened later in the parking lot.
Hynum wouldn’t comment further because he had not seen the lawsuit.
The suit alleges club security failed to control the large group of patrons who gathered in the parking lot when the club closed and also failed to provide a safe environment.
The suit asks for $37 million in compensatory damages for medical expenses, physical impairment, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of earnings throughout Smith’s life. The suit also asks for $50 million in punitive damages “for the sole reason of deterring similar conduct by the defendants.”
Police have Travis “Taurus” Brown in custody on three counts of aggravated assault in connection with the shootings in November.