HUNTINGTON – Two lawsuits have been filed against Rocco's Little Italy after patrons claim they were injured because of the restaurant's failure to protect its patrons.

On Feb. 9, 2014, Mackenzie Tubert and Stormie Spitzer went to Rocco's to purchase food and, while in the restaurant, they encountered a large group of young women already in the restaurant, according to two complaints filed in Cabell Circuit Court.

The plaintiffs claim as they waited for their food orders, the group of young women in the restaurant began to harass and threaten them and several of them explicitly threatened to physically harm them.

The owners and/or employees of the restaurant heard the threats and responded by telling everyone, including the plaintiffs, to leave the premises, according to the suits.

The plaintiffs claim as one or more of the defendants physically pushed people out of the restaurant, one of the threatening young women actually stopped in the doorway to again directly threaten the plaintiffs with physical harm.

Despite being again reminded of the violent intent on the part of the large group of young women, the defendant nevertheless forced the plaintiffs out of the restaurant along with the group of threatening women, according to the suits.

The plaintiffs claim the defendant locked the door to the restaurant as soon as the final person was ushered out of the restaurant.

Before the plaintiffs were able to get to their automobile across the street, the large group of women attacked the plaintiffs and the defendants made no effort to intercede or otherwise assist the plaintiffs, according to the suits.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants were negligent and breached their duty to protect patrons from foreseeable harm.

As a direct and proximate result of the defendant's breach of duty to protect its patrons from foreseeable harm, the plaintiffs suffered severe physical and mental injuries and other general and special damages.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory and punitive damages. They are being represented by Thomas P. Boggs of Duffield, Lovejoy, Stemple & Boggs PLLC.

The cases are assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.

Cabell Circuit Court case numbers: 15-C-341, 15-C-342

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