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€1.3m in Wrongful Death by Shooting Case

A San Francisco Superior Court judge has ordered three defendants in a civil action for a wrongful death by shooting case to pay a total of €1.3m to the parents of a 21-year-old man who was shot and killed outside a San Francisco nightclub.

Justin Mendoza of Daly City, California, had just departed a hip-hop event at Club Cocomo in San Francisco on March 21st 2005, when he was hit by a bullet that had been fired in a fight between two groups of youths who had attended the nightclub. The youth died instantly in the arms of a friend and, following a police investigation, the assailant was charged and convicted of murder.

Justin´s parents, Eduardo and Denise Mendoza, took a civil action against the club, the company the club hired to do security and the owner of the building, on the basis that the club and its security force failed to supervise the crowds or halt the violence that ensued.

They alleged in their action that Justin’s death could have been avoided with proper management of the situation, and they claimed that the three parties were responsible for the physical pain suffered by their son and the emotional trauma they have suffered, and will continue to experience, due to their son’s wrongful death.

Finding the three parties negligent in the wrongful death by shooting case of Justin Mendoza, the judge awarded his parents 1.75 million dollars, with the contribution from each defendant divided at 58 per cent (the club), 28 per cent (the security firm) and 14 per cent (the owner of the premises).