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Companies wrangle over Thirsty's assault liability

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news Mitchell, 57301
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

The company sued for negligence following an assault outside a Mitchell bar in September now claims another company is liable.

V.V. Inc. is a defendant in a lawsuit filed by Vicki Hubner, mother and conservator for Clint Dreyer, a Fargo, N.D., resident who suffered permanent brain injuries in a beating outside Thirsty's Bar.

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The company filed a third-party complaint Wednesday claiming another company, TS Services, is contracted by V.V. Inc. to manage Thirsty's Bar and is liable for the damages alleged in the lawsuit.

No further information about TS Services was immediately available, and there appears to be no such company listed in the South Dakota secretary of state's online corporate database.

Hubner alleges four counts of negligence against the bar's management and seeks to hold V.V. Inc. liable for more than $75,000 in damages. While V.V. Inc. denies the allegations, it claims TS Services is liable to pay a large portion, if not all, of any damages assessed to V.V. Inc. as a result of the lawsuit.

Court documents show preparations for a trial could last until at least November if a settlement is not reached.

Two men have been convicted and sentenced in criminal court in connection with the assault. William Watkins, 35, of Mitchell, was sentenced Feb. 21 to 13 years in prison, with five years suspended, and ordered to pay more than $650,000 in restitution for aggravated assault against Dreyer.

Thomas Somerville, 38, of Mitchell, a bar manager at the time of the incident, pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct April 12 and was fined $500 and sentenced to 30 days in jail. The jail time was suspended on the condition he pay the fines and costs within 30 days and enroll in the state 24/7 Sobriety program for one year.

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