Doorman blames bar owner and patron for shooting

By Beth Henry | Feb 23, 2006

MARTINSBURG -- A Berkeley County bouncer is suing the man who shot him in a bar as well as the bar's owner, following an April 2005 incident at Champs Night Club in Martinsburg.

MARTINSBURG -- A Berkeley County bouncer is suing the man who shot him in a bar as well as the bar's owner, following an April 2005 incident at Champs Night Club in Martinsburg.

In a lawsuit filed Feb. 14 in Berkeley County Circuit Court, William S. Harris Jr. says he was working as a doorman at the club on the night of April 9, 2005, and into the early morning hours of the next day when he was shot by drunken patron Jeff Gregory.

The suit claims Gregory was already intoxicated when he came into the bar, but he was served at least seven alcoholic beverages at Champs Night Club until he got into a fight with other patrons and employees. He then threatened to get a gun and return to the bar, but he was escorted out of the building because of his belligerent behavior.

While in the bar's parking lot, Gregory threatened the plaintiff as well as the club's co-owner and operator, Chris Miller. Gregory said he would be "coming back for them," according to the suit.

When Harris left the bar at closing time and went into the parking lot, Gregory shot him. The suit does not specify where the plaintiff was injured, but it says Harris suffered and continues to suffer from the injuries. Harris' medical expenses have been more than $100,000.

The plaintiff contends that Gregory and Miller are jointly and severally liable for the injuries and damages, because Gregory caused the injuries and Miller failed to prevent the shooting. Harris says Miller knew of Gregory's threats and failed to take appropriate actions by calling the police.

Harris is seeking judgment in an amount yet to be determined for compensatory damages, punitive damages, interest, court costs and other relief. He requests a jury trial.

The suit, filed by attorney Harry P. Waddell, has been assigned to Circuit Judge Christopher Wilkes.

Berkeley Circuit Court case number: 06-C-99

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