A second lawsuit has been brought against Tabu nightclub after a shooting on the premises left six people injured earlier this month.
Simeon Harvey, one of the victims, sustained gunshot wounds to the abdomen and leg that left him hospitalized. One of the bullets remains lodged in his spine weeks after the shooting, and Harvey claimed that his injuries have severely impacted his quality of life.
"I loved being active, I loved to run," said Harvey. "There's so many things I took for granted before that I'll never get to do again."
Harvey's legal team is pursuing over $1 million in damages, claiming that both Tabu and the property owners, PHCG Investments, should be held accountable. They alleged that management was negligent to provide the security and training that could have prevented the shooting.
This lawsuit comes on the heels of multiple recent incidents at the nightclub, including aggravated assault and robberies. While a lawsuit filed by the city of Houston temporarily shut the nightclub down, some said that this step should have been taken earlier.
"The city administration has been proactive with handling shootings, but they need to be more proactive," said Muhammad Aziz, a lawyer representing Harvey. "Until the city does something about it, the only recourse these young people have is the civil justice system."
The shooting took place three weeks after the city passed an ordinance that required "Bring Your Own Beverage" establishments like Tabu to undergo safety inspections. This ordinance aimed to decrease the number of violent incidents common to these establishments.
However, the shooting fell within the 30-day grace period, meaning Tabu had not been forced to comply with the new regulations. Even with increased regulations, the city has at times struggled to hold businesses accountable, Council Member Abbie Kamin said during a city council meeting earlier this month.
The lawsuit, if successful, would represent a unique approach to safety enforcement, as Harvey's team are also suing the property owners, PHCG Investments. PHCG, a subsidiary of Pappas group, noted that they were initially unaware of what had happened on the property.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and individuals affected by the incident on June 11th," said company spokesperson Christina Pappas. "We are grateful for the dedication of the work from the Houston Police department on this case."
District J Council Member Edward Pollard has previously suggested pursuing property owners and tenants through Chapter 125 lawsuits. Like Pollard, Harvey said he hopes that holding property owners accountable could prevent future incidents.
"It doesn't make sense for us to go out and have a good time, maybe even a few drinks and feel like we're not safe," said Harvey. "We shouldn't have to worry about being shot over something we had nothing to do with."