Actions by employees of Nectar's led to the shooting of an innocent bystander outside the popular Burlington nightclub last February, attorneys for the victim claim in a civil lawsuit filed against the club Wednesday.
They contend that Nectar's employees acted in a "profoundly irresponsible" and "outrageous" manner when they returned a handgun they'd seized during a dispute between bar patrons and told Rashad Nashid to "take it outside."
He did, and, according to police, he and another man got into a fight, then drew guns. Nashid allegedly shot bystander Chelsi Parker, 27, who police said was nearly killed.
Parker's complaint, filed in Chittenden County Superior Court, which is across the street from the club, starts with this:
This case is about what happens when a downtown bar treats the City of Burlington like the Wild West, confiscating and then returning a firearm to an intoxicated patron threatening to kill another patron, telling the combatants to "take it outside" rather than calling the police, causing an outrageous and unacceptable threat to public safety. Due to Nectar's negligence, Chelsi Parker, an innocent bystander, was gunned down in the street and nearly bled to death in front of this courthouse.
Parker's suit alleges negligence. She is represented by Ian Carleton of Sheehey, Furlong & Behm.
Carleton told Seven Days that the club is responsible for its staff's failure to use good judgment.
"It's difficult to imagine a larger abandonment of the saying, 'If you see something, say something,'" he said. "That warning is ingrained in our public consciousness."
Club co-owner Noel Donnellan did not immediately respond to a call for comment.
Parker, of Essex Junction, was hospitalized for three weeks after sustaining collapsed lungs and other injuries, the suit states. She can no longer jog and continues to feel pain from her injuries almost daily, her suit says.
Nashid faces charges in state and federal courts in connection with the shooting. The state's attorney for Chittenden County declined to bring charges against the man said to have pulled a gun on Nashid.