Tortilla Republic patron files suit

LIHUE — A man who suffered permanent brain damage after being knocked unconscious outside a Poipu restaurant filed suit against the establishment and shopping center in which it resides.

Clay Jose is suing Kukuiula Village LLC, Tortilla Republic, two unnamed perpetrators and Garden Island Security, the company assigned to monitor the shopping area.

The suit, filed March 9 by Honolulu-based attorney Michael Jay Green, alleges negligence and gross negligence on behalf of the defendants that led to the altercation and seeks damages in excess of $25,000 for injury and emotional distress suffered by Jose.

According to the suit, Jose and his girlfriend left the Tortilla Republic around 1 a.m. Saturday March 10, 2013, and were followed outside the bar by two assailants, who knocked Jose out, which caused Jose’s head to hit the ground.

The blow caused permanent injuries to Jose’s brain and “defects to his cognitive and other functions.”

“A GSI security officer was nearby and witnessed the commotion and assault, but failed, neglected, and/or refused to intervene,” the suit states, adding that the lone officer also failed to identify the assailants or provide a vehicle description or license plate number. “The assailants had been drinking, were engaged in hostile obnoxious behavior, but were allowed by Tortilla Republic to continue (drinking) alcoholic beverages while on the premises of the Tortilla Republic.”

Kukuiula Village management and Green didn’t return messages seeking comment.

Garden Island Security and Tortilla Republic’s corporate office in Los Angeles declined to comment.

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