According to the lawsuit, Dr. Donald Mitchell and his wife, Barbara Mitchell, along with several friends went to Rippy’s on the last day of the CMA Music Festival to share an afternoon meal and a few drinks. Before getting their meal, Mitchell closed the group’s tab as requested by their server. The server informed the party that another server would be arriving soon. Another server never showed up however and this led to Mitchell and other friends in his party ordering drinks from the bar which was against the bar and grill’s house rules.
Not long after this occurred, Joshua Hightower, a security guard went over to the party and informed them that they had to leave for breaking one of the restaurant’s house rules. The server who was given the party complained that she was not making enough money off of Mitchell’s table. Mitchell asked if his party could finish their meal and then as alleged in the lawsuit, Hightower slapped Mitchell’s drink out of his hand and put him in a chokehold. The lawsuit claims the attack was not provoked but the restaurant disputes this claim. Mitchell was struggling to breathe in the chokehold, prompting witnesses to call 911. At this point, tempers rose and Mitchell was choked twice more, one time by bouncer, Justin Shatto. At one point, according to the lawsuit, Hightower choked Mitchell so intensely that he turned purple and lost consciousness.
Hightower and the other security guard, Justin Shatto, filed assault charges against the Mitchells. That case was dismissed in July. The Mitchells’ civil lawsuit alleges negligence, willful and wanton misconduct and emotional distress, among other charges. The suit is seeking nearly $4.5 million.
Unfortunately, cases similar to this one happen all across the country and even to the people of Tennessee. If you or someone you know has been assaulted for any reason while at a restaurant or another public place then we strongly suggest that you contact one of our caring and experienced Tennessee crime victim attorneys immediately. We will hear your case and work with you to see to it that you receive the compensation you are entitled to for what you have suffered.
Contact us online or call us at 800.705.2121 to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your legal options.