At about 2:00 a.m. yesterday, a dispute broke out inside the Albatros Mexican Restaurant located on Rockfield in Lake Forest, resulting in the fatal stabbing of a patron. According to a report by KTLA news, Elvis Kechechian, 26, of Mission Viejo tragically died from his wounds inflicted after the argument got physical outside the restaurant. Another victim was rushed to a local hospital in critical condition. Kechechian had been coaching ice hockey at Santa Margarita Catholic High School since 2010, according to school officials. He was described and will be remembered as “compassionate, dedicated, sweet and soft-spoken, Elvis was proud to be part of Santa Margarita’s ice hockey program and enjoyed celebrating the successes of the players and team,” the school’s statement said.
See the KTLA story HERE.
It is currently unknown what exactly transpired inside the Albatros restaurant, but apparently the argument must have been intense as it ultimately resulted an extremely violent altercation just outside. The attacker, or attackers, would obviously be liable both civilly and criminally for the death and critical injuries inflicted, and at least potentially the restaurant owner/operator could be exposed to civil liability for the damages resulting from this violent altercation. Under California law, a business proprietor owes a duty to their patrons to take reasonable steps to secure common areas against foreseeable criminal acts of third parties that are likely to occur in the absence of such precautionary measures. If the place or character of the business, or the proprietor’s past experience, is such that they should reasonably anticipate criminal conduct on the part of third persons, either generally or at some particular time, the business operator may be under a duty to take precautions against it, and to provide a reasonably sufficient number of employees to afford reasonable protection. In other words, if a business operator is aware a criminal assault is likely to occur or is occurring on their property they must take reasonable steps to prevent harm to their patrons. This duty may obligate the business to provide security officers or, at a minimum, notify the police when necessary. A failure to fulfill this duty is negligence for which the business owner may be held liable.
Compensation for the victims of violent crimes that occur on a business owner’s property should be an important concern for all Californians. When a proprietor invites guests onto their property they should be held accountable if they fail to provide a reasonably safe environment, especially when they can prevent or effectively intervene in a criminal assault. An Orange County injury attorney with experience at handling such cases can make a fair assessment of these claims. Mr. Ralph has 20 years of experience handling personal injury and wrongful death cases, including just this type. Mr. Ralph can be reached at 714-919-4415 for a FREE CONSULTATION.
Have you or a family member been a victim of a violent crime that occurred at a business establishment?
- Nothing in this post is intended to suggest the Law Offices of Paul W. Ralph currently represents anyone involved in the news story above. This posting should not be construed as legal advice or an opinion on the merit of any particular matter. A consultation is the best way to obtain an assessment of your potential case.