The brother of a man fatally stabbed outside a bar has filed a lawsuit against the nightclub and a neighboring business, alleging that both failed to protect the victim. Jeffrey Owens, 40, was beaten and stabbed outside a Riverside, Calif., bar in June 2002 because he was gay. He later died after bleeding to death at Riverside County Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley, where he received a massive overdose of an anticlotting drug. Police called the attack a hate crime, but a judge later dismissed hate-crime allegations against five defendants, citing lack of evidence.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Owens's brother, Brent Owens, names the Menagerie bar and owner David St. Pierre, along with a neighboring business, the former Sandy's Pub, and its then-owner Sandy Beam. It also names the five men and one woman who have been charged in connection with Jeffrey Owens's death. The lawsuit was filed last month in superior court. It contends Sandy's Pub and the Menagerie failed to act reasonably when Owens was attacked. Riverside County paid $257,000 to Owens' family to settle claims stemming from the drug error that coroner's officials said contributed to his death.