A fatal stabbing at a niteclub in Northeast Portland last week has led to a murder charge, according to a report published in The Oregonian. It also raises a significant civil law question, however, one that deserves greater public attention as the case unfolds in the weeks and months to come.
According to the newspaper a 29-year-old woman was stabbed to death in a club on NE 60th Avenue last week following an argument with a 23-year-old woman. Citing police the newspaper reports that the two women knew each other. The victim died at the scene and the alleged killer was arrested without incident shortly thereafter at a nearby convenience store. In addition to murder the suspect has been charged with unlawful use of a weapon, according to the newspaper.
What makes this case particularly interesting from a civil perspective is the long history of violence in or near the club. According to The Oregonian “the club has been connected with violence in the past. A 33-year-old man died and a 21-year-old woman was injured in an overnight shooting outside the club in 2013. And in January 2011 a man celebrating his 24th birthday was fatally shot outside the club.”
This raises significant questions about the level of security in and around the club. Under Oregon law a club’s owners have a responsibility to provide adequate security for their patrons along with a safe working environment for employees. The history of violent incidents in and around this club, at the very least, raises serious questions about whether the management is doing everything it should to keep both customers and employees safe.
As a Portland attorney with a focus on personal injuries and also premises liability I am interested in learning more about the security arrangements at this club. The list of serious incidents there over a period of several years certainly tends to imply that there is a problem that urgently needs the owner’s attention.