Federal lawsuit filed in Thirsty’s beating caseSIOUX FALLS — The conservator for a Fargo, N.D., man beaten at Thirsty’s Bar in Mitchell has filed a federal lawsuit against the establishment.
By: Staff reports, The Daily Republic and The Associated Press
SIOUX FALLS — The conservator for a Fargo, N.D., man beaten at Thirsty’s Bar in Mitchell has filed a federal lawsuit against the establishment.
Vicki Hubner, representing 36-year-old Clint Dreyer, filed the lawsuit against V.V. Inc. on Friday in U.S. District Court in Sioux Falls. It alleges the bar was negligent and had a duty to control the conduct of its manager and employee.
Bar manager Thomas Somerville, 38, is scheduled to stand trial in February on a simple assault charge stemming from the alleged beating inside the bar on Sept. 30.
Bar employee William Watkins, 34, has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for beating the same man later the same night outside the bar.
Watkins, 34, of Mitchell, attacked Dreyer on Sept. 30. Dreyer was also allegedly assaulted by Somerville earlier the same night.
Watkins had been scheduled for a February jury trial before entering a guilty plea last week. He remains in Davison County Jail on a $30,000 bond.
Aggravated assault is a felony that carries a maximum 15-year prison term, a $30,000 fine, or both. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered. Sentencing is set for February. Court documents state Dreyer apparently didn’t do anything to provoke the attacks. Watkins allegedly knocked Dreyer to the ground by hitting him in the head with his closed fist. Watkins proceeded to kick him in the head area, according to police reports. The incident caused Dreyer serious injury, including severe head trauma.
Dreyer was in critical condition when admitted to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls in September, and his were injuries described as life-threatening.
However, according to the CaringBridge website, Dreyer remains in Avera McKennan and participates in several therapies on his road to recovery.
The owner of Thirsty’s had no comment and employees at the bar said they were not authorized to make any.