BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH)-- A huge ruling against a popular shoreline restaurant after a stabbing between a Yankees fan and a Red Sox fan. A jury has decided that the Chowder Pot in Branford has to pay the victim $4.3 million for letting it happen.
"This whole thing could have been prevented," said Timothy Pothin, the attorney for Monte Freire.
Pothin says Milford's John Mayor first approached Friere, a Nashua, New Hampshire, resident, at Branford's U.S.S Chowder Pot and said "you guys must be Red Sox fans, and he immediately chimed in and said this is Yankees territory, you're not welcome here," said Pothin.
But it didn't stop at banter. Pothin says Mayor harassed Freire and his friends.
"They asked the bartender to help to intervene and the bartender chose not to speak to Mr. Mayor or control his behavior in anyway," said Pothin.
Soon afterward, he says Mayor got up and pushed by Freire's group.
"Again they requested help from the bartender. They pointed Mayor out to the bartender and the bartender ignored him and chose to do nothing whatsoever," said Pothin.
Tension heightened and Mayor stabbed Freire in the neck. He's now serving prison time for the attack.
"Nobody, not my client, not the bartender, nobody saw the weapon before this happened," said Pothin.
When asked what if the bartender was worried for his own safety, Pothin said, "then he should have called the police or he should have called the manager who was on duty who could have provided security on the premises."
Pothin says Freire was in the hospital for nearly two months.
He suffers from a traumatic brain injury, and has hospital bills totaling around $1 million. The jury awarded him a total of $4.3 million in all.
Pothin says the bartender still works part-time at the popular restaurant.
In a statement to News 8, Jan Trendowski, the attorney for the Chowder Pot, told News 8 they are planning to appeal. Trendowski says the restaurant is not negligent for what happened to Freire. He says the bartender in this case is a "very responsible" and "delightful person".
Trendowski said in the past the bartender has ejected and separated people if he thought there was a problem. He agrees the group with Freire complained about Mayor's behavior, but thought there were no warning signs when it came to this incident.
"(The bartender) made a mistake that night and fortunately the jury, the very attentive jury, decided to hold the Chowder Pot accountable for his negligence for his malfeasance," said Pothin.
The attorney recommended between $3.3 and 4 million for the injuries he suffered and the complications he will continue to endure.
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