The family of a man killed in a fight outside of a Domino’s Pizza received a $1.85 million settlement in a St. Louis Circuit Court wrongful death lawsuit.
ARR Pizza Inc., which owned the Domino’s, settled the case April 28. The accord came before a judge decided whether to grant the defendant’s motion to dismiss the wrongful death lawsuit, brought by the family of Flynt Clemons Jr., who was 28 when he was killed.
Shortly before midnight on Aug. 9, 2014, Clemons, a truck driver, bought a pizza, chicken wings and a couple of drinks, according to the lawsuit and police report. He told the employee Sasha Hunnicut she owed him more change, according to the documents. The pair argued. Hunnicut, working behind a bulletproof window, called her boyfriend, a convicted felon, and the police, according to the documents.
Her boyfriend got there first, reports said. Clemons’ pregnant girlfriend, Tenisha Green and her two small children from other relationships sat in the car and watched as Pickett shot Clemons multiple times, reports said. His parents, Tracy Williams and Flynt Clemons Sr., filed their suit the next month.
The wrongful death claim is based largely on a negligence theory. The store was understaffed for the time of night, as Hunnicut was the only person there at the time of the argument and the other employee on duty was delivering a pizza, said the family’s attorney, James O’Leary of Onder, Shelton, O’Leary & Peterson. Further, the defendant failed to properly train Hunnicut to handle altercations, the suit alleged.
“The employee should have known of [her boyfriend’s] violent tendencies,” O’Leary said. “If not for the phone call this doesn’t happen. There would have been an argument and most likely everyone goes home.”
ARR filed a motion to dismiss the case in November 2014, saying the plaintiffs failed to substantiate claims the company was at fault.
“The event was not foreseeable,” the company’s motion said. “The shooting was a result of actions of a third party, not an agent, servant or employee” of ARR.
ARR’s attorney, Jon R. Sanner of Brinker & Doyen, did not return a phone call or email for comment.
The settlement proceeds are being split among Clemons’ parents; his daughter Cody, born Jan. 13; Green, her mother; and one of Green’s other two children.
After attorneys’ fees and court costs, Cody got $420,000 to be maintained in a structured settlement, according to the settlement document. Each parent got $299,000 after attorneys’ fees and court costs; Green received $175,000; and her son Rydrik, who had nightmares after seeing the shooting, got $9,900. Plaintiffs’ attorneys, including St. Louis lawyer Daniel R. Brown, received $637,000 in fees and costs.
Of her settlement portion, Cody will receive $800 monthly stipends until she is 18 when the payments increase to $3,355, according to the settlement. She also is to receive a $25,000 lump sum. At 28, she will receive a lump sum of $200,000.
Glenn Pickett was charged with first-degree murder. He pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.
$1.85 million settlement
Venue: St. Louis Circuit Court
Case Number/Date: 1422-CC09648/April 28, 2015
Judge: Theresa Counts Burke
Insurer: American Family Mutual Insurance Company
Caption: Tracy Williams and Flynt Clemons Sr. v. ARR Pizza Inc.
Plaintiffs’ Attorneys: Daniel Brown, Law Office of Smith Brown, St. Louis; James D. O’Leary, Onder, Shelton, O’Leary & Peterson, St. Louis
Defendant’s Attorney: Jon R. Sanner, and Laurie Strathman, Brinker & Doyen, St. Louis