Woman sues for injuries in Quotes bar fight

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Frank Schultz
Monday, December 30, 2013

JANESVILLE—A Janesville woman hurt by flying glass in a bar fight in downtown Janesville is suing the bar and the man accused of throwing the bottle.

Amy J. English, 914 Wolcott St., was struck by shards of glass when a man threw a bottle at another woman Oct. 6, a video of the incident at Quotes Bar & Grill appears to show.

English filed suit last week against Spirits of Janesville, doing business as Quotes, 24 N. Main St.

Also named in the suit are bar owner Denise Carpenter of Janesville and Lawrence V. Pinkerton of Sun Prairie, the man accused of throwing the bottle.

Carpenter relinquished her city liquor license Dec. 1 after nearly a decade of conflicts with police over a variety of violent incidents among Quotes patrons.

Police Chief Dave Moore previously described the environment at Quotes as a "culture of violence" and said the last straw for him was the video of the fight that resulted in English's injuries.

Surveillance camera footage shows bar fight that left bystander seriously injured (0:43)
An early-morning fight Oct. 6, 2013, at Quotes Bar & Grill in Janesville left one woman seriously injured and drove police to seek the revocation of the tavern's liquor license. WARNING, GRAPHIC CONTENT: To see unedited video from the incident, visit http://youtu.be/gpDuQAySonM.

Police had worked with Carpenter and her bouncers through the years to train them to avoid problems, but Moore in the end said efforts had not worked.

The video from the tavern's security cameras shows a patron throwing a drink on a man at the bar. The man turns and throws something at the woman's head. Shards of glass rip into the face of a nearby woman, apparently English.

English's lawsuit states she was at Quotes at about 1:50 a.m. Oct. 6, celebrating her boyfriend's birthday.

She was leaving the restroom and walking toward her boyfriend when glass hit her in the face and head, according to the lawsuit.

Pinkerton and another woman had been arguing throughout the night, the complaint states, and the woman had dumped a drink on Pinkerton and started to walk away when he threw the bottle at her, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit describes English's injuries as “severe,” causing pain, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of time at work.

She underwent medical treatment, which continues, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims Spirits and Carpenter should have expected trouble, given its history of trouble among patrons, should have seen trouble developing between Pinkerton and the woman and was negligent in failing to train employees to recognize and control a patron who might become violent.

The lawsuit says Carpenter should have hired more security staff and failed to have Pinkerton removed from Quotes in advance of the incident.

The lawsuit asks for compensatory and punitive damages and court costs but does not specify any amounts.

Carpenter on Monday declined to comment on the suit. She has put the bar up for sale for $775,000.

Pinkerton also faces criminal charges of second-degree reckless injury, second-degree recklessly endangering safety and disorderly conduct in connection with the Oct. 6 incident. He stood mute, and a not-guilty plea was entered for him Dec. 16 in Rock County Court, according to online court records.

Last updated: 4:38 pm Monday, December 30, 2013

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