Thirsty’s lawsuit could expandTS Services seeks to bring man convicted of assault into litigation.
By: Chris Mueller, The Daily Republic
The man serving time in prison for an assault last September outside a bar in downtown Mitchell has now been sued for his role in the attack.
TS Services, another defendant in the suit, filed a complaint July 26 against 35-year-old William Watkins.
Watkins was sentenced in February to 13 years in prison with five years suspended on one count of aggravated assault for attacking Clint Dreyer, of Fargo, N.D., outside Thirsty’s Bar. Dreyer suffered permanent brain injuries as a result of the beating, and Watkins was ordered to pay more than $650,000 in restitution for medical bills and other expenses.
The litigation stemming from the assault began in December when Vicki Hubner, mother and conservator for Dreyer, filed a lawsuit against V.V. Inc., the company that owns Thirsty’s. Hubner claims V.V. Inc. was negligent and is liable to pay damages for the assault.
V.V. Inc. denies the claim and filed a third-party complaint in June claiming another company, TS Services, should be liable to pay any damages awarded in the case.
In the recently filed court documents, TS Services denies the allegations and requests both Hubner’s and V.V. Inc.’s lawsuits be dismissed.
The company also filed a fourth-party complaint against Watkins claiming he should pay any damages that may be assessed, as it was his actions that could make the company liable.
Court documents name Thirsty’s manager Thomas Somerville, 38, alongside TS Services. Somerville was accused of simple assault against Dreyer for his role in an altercation inside Thirsty’s prior to the assault by Watkins.
Somerville pleaded no contest in April to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $500. 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.
Watkins, who is serving his sentence at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls, has yet to file an answer to the lawsuit.