Man mistaken for Red Sox fan awarded $4.3 million over injuries from Connecticut restaurant stabbing

by John Chapman

A New Hampshire man who was stabbed and seriously wounded because his attacker thought he was a Boston Red Sox fan has won a $4.3 million verdict against the restaurant where it occurred. Monte Freire suffered permanent damage as a result of being stabbed in the neck by John Mayor, who is now serving a 10-year prison sentence for the crime.

The incident occurred Oct. 2, 2010. Freire and several friends were in the Branford, Connecticut area for a softball tournament and went to the restaurant for dinner. According to Freire’s lawyer, Mayor heard Freire’s accent, decided he was a Red Sox fan and declared Branford Yankee territory.

Mayor, who was drinking in the bar, was allegedly being obnoxious and causing trouble. The lawsuit alleged that Freire’s friends notified two bartenders about Mayor’s behavior, but the bartenders took no action. Instead, the bartenders allegedly kept serving Mayor alcohol, despite warnings he was trying to start a fight. Eventually, Mayor stabbed Freire in the neck.

Freire needed three emergency surgeries at Yale-New Haven Hospital to repair severe stab wounds. He suffered a stroke as a result of blood loss and diminished blood flow to his brain and suffered permanent brain injury.

Freire sued The U.S.S. Chowder Pot III restaurant for negligence in failing to act reasonably to protect patrons. The suit alleged that the restaurant staff had the opportunity to intervene but instead chose not to.

Inadequate Security and Negligent Security Lawsuits

Business and property owners have an obligation to provide a reasonably safe environment for their guests and customers. Generally speaking, a business or property owner is not liable for injuries or death resulting from a crime just because it was committed at their business or on their property.

However, if there was something about the crime that made it foreseeable, if there has been a pattern of such crime in the area, or the nature of the business makes it peculiarly susceptible to such a crime, the law will impose a duty for the business or owner to at least take reasonable security measures to prevent or deter such crime. Inadequate security or negligent security lawsuits can involve the failure of business proprietors, such as mall and shopping center operators, apartment and residential rental housing owners, hotels, motels, restaurants and others, to take reasonable and ordinary security measures that should have been taken under the circumstances for the protection of their guests and customers.

If you or someone you know has been injured or if you lost a loved one as a result of a crime, a property owner, apartment complex, landlord, club, bar, restaurant or shopping center may be partially responsible. You need an experienced and knowledgeable law firm that can guide you through the legal process and obtain maximum compensation on your behalf. Our lawyers approach every case with the assumption it will be tried to a jury. Whether it’s hiring the right experts, obtaining the necessary records, interviewing the key witnesses or helping our clients get the medical care they need, our meticulous attention to detail ensures that our clients achieve maximum value for their claim.

In addition, Heygood, Orr & Pearson is AV-rated, the highest legal and ethical rating available from the leading law firm rating service. Our partners Michael Heygood, Jim Orr, and Eric Pearson are all Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Heygood and Mr. Orr are additionally Board Certified in Civil Trial Advocacy Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our partners been voted by their peers as “Super Lawyers” in the state of Texas for several years in a row.*

Contact our attorneys for a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out the free case evaluation form located on this page.


Michael Heygood, James Craig Orr, Jr. and Eric Pearson were selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication, for the years 2003 through 2013.

by John Chapman

John Chapman is a licensed attorney with experience in complex commercial litigation (including securities fraud, RICO, shareholder oppression, and derivative actions) and personal injury litigation.