News from around Newport Beach
Newport Law Firm Wins Lawsuit Against TGI Frodays
A jury slapped a $40 million judgment against the popular restaurant chain, TGI Fridays, citing its failure to act on lax security and willingness to over-serve alcohol even to minors – practices that ultimately led to the stabbing death of 33-year old Orlando Jordan, a loan officer at Wells Fargo Bank.
West Seegmiller, of The Seegmiller Law Firm in Newport Beach, who represented the victim’s family for three years and assembled a team to try the case, said that the company’s failure to act upon dozens of incidents of violence including multiple assaults that took place at the Galleria at Tyler Mall restaurant in the year leading up to the murder were partly to blame.
“Despite escalating violence, much of it fueled by excessive alcohol consumption, TGIF failed to act in the best interests of its patrons, which ultimately led to Mr. Jordan’s death. This is basically a case that boils down to TGIF choosing profits over safety,” said Seegmiller, a personal injury attorney who has successfully litigated against such giants as SCE, Coca Cola and Rockwell International.
Among the security lapses cited were lack of security and surveillance cameras, failure to check IDs upon entry to the bar area and not posting safety signs to make clear the laws against underage drinking.
“While nothing can ever bring back Orlando Jordan, the family is satisfied with the judgment against TGIF,” said Seegmiller. “I hope this serves as a warning to all restaurant and bar owners and managers that they must act responsibly and put the safety of patrons ahead of profits.”
Arts Commission Invites Input on Arts Master Plan
The Newport Beach City Arts Commission recently announced that they will hold monthly study sessions before regular meetings of the Arts Commission to discuss the City’s Master Arts and Culture Plan and to provide opportunities for public input.
Study sessions began this week and will be held again August 13 and September 10, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., in the Central Library Friends Room, 1000 Avocado Avenue.
The study sessions will act as a public forum for discussion of the City’s Master Arts and Culture Plan and assist the City Arts Commission in developing goals and a long-term vision for the City’s arts programs.
The Master Arts and Culture Plan, presented by Arts Orange County in May 2014 and approved by the Newport Beach Arts Commission in November 2014 included recommendations that were approved by City Council in April 2015.
Those recommendations were:
- Grow public investment in arts and culture.
- Establish an appropriately-staffed Division of Arts and Culture.
- Establish arts-friendly City policies.
- Develop a 21st Century Arts and Culture Communications Plan.
- Develop a multi-faceted arts and culture program plan.
- Refine the City’s Public Art Policy.
- Develop new accessible creative spaces.
- Animate existing City parks, beaches, and other public spaces with unique programming, signature events, and neighborhood festivals.
- Establish key partnerships that support arts education.
For more information or to view the Master Arts and Culture Plan, visit newportbeachca.gov/culturalarts.