Notsuoh Suit Over: Jim Pirtle Walks Away a Winner

Categories: Courts

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Notsuoh.com
Downtown's weirdest bar lives on.
The $12,000,000 and 47 cent personal injury lawsuit against Jim Pirtle, Melissa Bosch and their Notsuoh bar is over, and the bar owners won't have to pay a dime.

After several days of testimony last week, jurors found Friday that attorney Donna Roth's version of events -- that Pirtle was responsible for grievous injuries sustained by her client while on the premises of Pirtle's bar -- was not credible.

Nathan Fischer, Roth's client, was terribly injured after either falling, jumping, or getting pushed off the roof or out of an open window on one of Notsuoh's upper floors in the wee hours of a February 2009 morning. There were no witnesses, and Fischer has never been able to say what happened -- he has no recollection of the event. His blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit, and while it was ruled inadmissible as evidence, the jury also heard that he had cocaine and marijuana in his system as well.

"They had no case at all," said a juror who requested anonymity. "It was a travesty that they brought this suit. Nobody should have to go through this."

Pirtle was relieved that his ordeal was over, but shaken by the testimony. "Basically I spent three straight days listening to a bunch of people talk about what a scumbag I am," he says. "His attorney really focused on what a dick I am. I wouldn't wish this on anyone."

"Either [Roth] was naive, or she thought we were stupid," says the juror. "Either she really believed her story or she thought we would, and what she said happened was not possible."

The juror says that case hinged on Fisher falling out of a glassless second- or third-floor window, and that as the facts were presented, those scenarios simply weren't possible.

Someone was seated near the second-floor window and saw nothing. Neither did other people nearby. As for the third-floor window, the jury determined that Fischer was too big to simply fall out of it. The juror thinks it more likely that Fischer jumped, as he was found about ten feet from the building.

The juror believed that Roth attempted to stress the injuries her client has endured -- he suffered a brain injury and is now permanently incapacitated -- over the facts of how he got them. He believed that she wanted their sympathy for her client to trump their logical reasoning.

The jury didn't buy it.

What's more, a basis of the suit posits that "nothing Fischer did or failed to do in any way contributed to cause the occurrence in question," as if guzzling enough hooch to intoxicate a submarine full of Russian sailors was in no way his own responsibility.

Again, the jury didn't buy it.

Everybody feels bad for Fischer, but what happened to him was not Pirtle's fault, the jury determined. And now Pirtle's ordeal is over.

"I have literally just been through one of the worst weeks in my life," Pirtle declared last week on Facebook. "I was sued for 12 million dollars and 47 cents... I was on trial all week... I wore a suit four days in a row,,, a personal record... I won and have my life back."

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34 comments
regdude
regdude

Why do I remember there being a benefit show for this guy?

honest
honest

To the person in charge of this public speaking venue: Deleting my posts and changing my user name, indicates that you are willing to throw out your own moral system- guaranteed freedom of speech- because your “remaining pet ethics” have become too uncomfortable for you to maintain.

 I say “remaining pet ethics” because your blind support for this person is completely immoral. No matter how you feel about this man personally, his business, which pay his bills and fund his travels, does so by serving alcohol illegally to to dangerously intoxicated people many of who are living inside of horribly addicted lives.

 This is done, after 2 am, when they come in drunk from the other bars and it continues until sunrise. The room(s) in this bar are full of objects, furniture and shelving that are stacked up in unsteady towers and which are compulsively moved around to create confusing mazes and blocked off sections. This bar is very dark. This business is unregulated by a single safety code or heath code.

 To maintain, it requires full familial neglect/abuse because children do not stay up all night and sleep all day and do not thrive while being raised by chronically drunk and chronically violent adults.

 This man has a true disdain for himself and others and it is sad to watch such hatred. Failure to put up a simple wire or guard to keep people, (that you SOLD the drinks to) from falling out of a third story giant wall hole, is not “taking personal responsibility” -to borrow the term that is being thrown around in this comment thread...

 and BEFORE THIS, other people have fallen out of the SAME window and ALMOST DIED. And still, NOTHING has been put up to prevent this from happening again.

honest
honest

Funny, you can see the window in the photo attached to the article.  It's that huge dark square, on the left side of the photograph, next the the "Easy Credit" sign and above the "Dean's" sign.  That huge dark square is completely open, with no guard(S) to prevent falling.

guest
guest

 This business is serves people ILLEGALY who have already been drinking/or drunk (from the other bars) AFTER 2 a.m. Till 6 a.m. 8 a.m. ??? It does not have a license to serve, nor does it meet basic safely or health codes, and it has been profiting from selling alcohol to bar customers for years and years. The room(s) are dark and full of stacked items/objects.  book shelves furniture etc...are set up in maze like or sculptural manner. The space has been made intentionally confusing, which is dangerous for the truly inebriated people who are being served.... The window in question is 3ft by 5ft, it has no glass, no railing and its widow sill or base is only 2-3 feet tall. It is basically a wall of empty space that opens into the street, 3 stories distance down. BEFORE THIS other people have falling out of this SAME window on to the street, and almost died... STILL no block or bar has been set up to protect life. This man has true disdain for himself and others. It is sad to watch such hatred.

honest
honest

Wonderful news.  The illegal after hours bar that sells all manner of poision and darkness to the addicted, gets to stay open and Jim gets to continue killling himself (while not raising his daughter)  in his 15 year long performance art piece called "cheer me on as I destroy my life!"  As someone who actually cares about this person, I wish that something would make this stop.

Richard Doll
Richard Doll

This is what I posted in August 2010 - glad Jim won the suite (original article claimed the guy fell out an open window):

Another case of a worthless slob attempting to profit off of someone who has worked hard to be successful. According to the legal profession today, nothing bad ever happens to anyone where it's not someone else's fault. Here's the world I'd like to see - get drunk and fall down, deal with it. It's your damn fault for getting drunk, it's not the fault of the bartender, the bar, the distillery, your distant father, teachers from kindergarten who didn't care/cared too much, your lactose intolerance, or the fact that Jupiter aligned with Mars before your brother was born, and you were born in the year of the Rat. Guy was lucky to be able to party upstairs, this is how he repays them. If you want glass in the windows, make sure you have them in your home, and then Stay Home!

TK
TK

Money grubbers.  

guest
guest

That place is in such disrepair maybe this time it wasn't the owners fault but it will be one day. People are served in that bar far past when they need to be cut off and the facility is DESPERATELY in need of some maintenance  to be a safe bar for HIGHLY intoxicated people. People in this bar are hardcore alcoholics and drug addicts and no attempts are made to keep the grounds clean or safe. 

wigs uk
wigs uk

roth little trick can easily fail

Derek Jude Tallman
Derek Jude Tallman

Good deal. feel bad for the guy getting hurt and all, but you can't hold someone else responsible for your own behavior.

Missy Bosch
Missy Bosch

I hate to get started in all this debate, but there is misinformation in the pervious post. For the record, and this also came up in the trial, NO ONE besides Nathan has ever exited the building on the upper floors and ALMOST DIED. One person, who was sitting on the ledge (after opening the window), passed out from medical reasons and was hurt for a few weeks and is fine now. This kind of misinformation is aggravating and annoying.About blocking the window, IT'S A WINDOW. It is not unsafe. Have you actually been by that window? You have to really work at falling out of it, like any other window, if you walk up to it, climb onto its ledge, you may fall.Jim isn't perfect, but he really does enjoy people, he has no disdain. He would be heartbroken to hear someone make a comment like that about him. He provides these parties to his friends as a favor (they have never been about making money, any money that changes hands is to offset the cost), and like so many things, when people have nice things done for them, then get hurt, all of a sudden it's all his fault.

And, for the record, we do have to pay significant lawyer fees. So getting off without paying a penny is misleading as well.

John Nova Lomax
John Nova Lomax

If you are so "Honest," please provide your real name.

Writer for a Free Fishwrap
Writer for a Free Fishwrap

Easy solution: don't drink until you get 3 times the legal limit. And if you do, don't hang out near open windows.

Writer for a Free Fishwrap
Writer for a Free Fishwrap

You shouldn't be out in public if your wasted in the first place. It's called personal responsibility. Bartenders aren't babysitters.

mollusk
mollusk

The losing party in a civil trial typically does pay the court costs.  And since personal injury lawyers almost always work on a percentage of recovery basis, this one ended up doing a lot of work, and probably absorbing a good chunk of out of pocket costs, for zero payment.  There had to be at least some evidence for the case to have gone to a jury.

Guest
Guest

Around 2003, a person fell out of the window resulting in serious frontal lobe injury that greatly impacted their judgment and impulse control for quite a while. Their recovery is a possibly a miracle. They had been drinking. The widow is  low to the floor and easily accessible compared to other “regular windows” There is no climbing involved. A toddler could get to its ledge from the floor. It would be easy to be accidentally pushed out of or lose your balance and fall.Typically the window stays open. It is illegal to sell alcohol after 2:15.It is illegal to sell to someone who is intoxicated. 3-4 dollars a drink + tip isn't expensive, but it is more than cost.

honest
honest

No. While I have no shame in speaking what we all see, I do not think that it is logical to make this about me.  It is not about me.  In this public venue, we are discussing the events article and the circumstances that surround it.  Jim knows me and I have spoken my mind and heart to him before about self destruction. I am very glad that he is not out millions of dollars, and I do beleive  that this is a wake-up call for him to listen to the people who are willing to say difficult things to him...rather than this chorus of "Yes!" men that surround him constantly.  Peace.

honest
honest

Actually, responsibilites do accompany the bartending profession that require that they withhold alcohol from a intoxicated person.  Anyone who has worked in the bar/ restaurant industry knows about the MAJOR trouble they can get into if they serve outside of the legal limits.   It seems as if, not selling alcohol to an intoxicated person after hours, is what you mean by "babysitting." 

From the TABC website:

What is the law regarding serving alcoholic beverages to an intoxicated person? Selling an alcoholic beverage with criminal negligence to an intoxicated person is a violation of Section 101.63 of the Alcoholic Beverage Code. It is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine between $100 and $500 and/or up to a year in jail.

Also:

Legal Hours of Public Consumption - The legal hours of public consumption of alcoholic beverages still apply to BYOB establishments or special events held in a public place. Even if the location does not hold a TABC permit, the guests can't drink alcoholic beverages on the premises all night long.Legal hours of public consumption begin a 7am Monday through Saturday, and begin at noon on Sunday. Legal hours of public consumption end at 2:15am if the area is legal for extended hours. Otherwise, legal hours of public consumption end at 12:15am Sunday night through Friday night, and 1:15am Saturday night.Public Intoxication - Chapter 49.02 of the Texas Penal Code states: "A person commits an offense if the person appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person or another."

H_e_x
H_e_x

A CHUD speaks!

Writer for a Free Fishwrap
Writer for a Free Fishwrap

I could care less about the ambulance chasers. What about the defense attorney? Who paid for their services?

Derek Jude Tallman
Derek Jude Tallman

Civil suits don't have the same requirements as criminal suits. It's one of the reasons so many frivolous law suits get filed and heard. The only "evidence" required was the dude being injusred after a fall/jumping off a building.

mollusk
mollusk

And for the record, I like both Jim and Notsuoh.

Missy Bosch
Missy Bosch

That only applies to businesses, the upper floors of the building are not a business, nor a public place and do not fall under those laws. People can "consume' alcohol whenever they want.

Missy Bosch
Missy Bosch

We have to pay the defense attorney.

jedfoley
jedfoley

@mollusk I cannot speak to the percentages, but the only lawsuit to which I've been a party WAS a frivolous suit, filed by Harry Sturges, a rich guy from River Oaks who owns Texas Construction Services.  He used the legal system in an attempt to extort money from us.  He, too, refused numerous attempts to mediate, arbitrate, or settle his claim and forced a trial upon us.  We prevailed in court but were left with a large legal bill.  Had he, the plaintiff won, we would have had to pay his attorney's fees. 

I feel for Jim and Mellissa.  It has been years since I went to their bar, but totally get where they are coming from.  You, mister mollusk, sound like part of the problem, along with Donna Roth.  As attorneys, you have an ethical duty that she seems to have shirked.  I suspect the only reason this case passed the "blush test" for her was because she has no shame.  If you would have taken the case, you are no better.

Cannibalvector
Cannibalvector

If you have been practicing law for a single day then you know that the statement "the number of actual frivolous lawsuits is tiny" is heavily dependent on your definition of "frivolous."  If you have been practicing law for 30 years, then you know that jury awards in places like Jefferson county and south Texas had gotten high enough to provide incentive for all manner of unethical legal practices.  If you don't think the contingency fee on a billion dollar wrongful death is enough to turn honest men into crooks, or enough to motivate them to fraudulently manipulate discovery, then you are fundamentally naive.  If you don't think there is any evidence that things like this happen, then you don't listen to the water cooler conversations of your own legal services personnel.     

mollusk
mollusk

Put down the AM radio talking points and slowly step away.  

I've been practicing law for over 30 years; I do not do injury suits, instead, I represent small businesses on both sides of the docket.  The number of actual frivolous lawsuits is tiny.  As a rule, they do not go to trial.  I have not reviewed the file in this case, but there are many opportunities to settle a case before trial, and there are methods short of trial to dispose of claims that don't have merit.  Unless you actually attended the entire trial, you are not in any position to say what was and was not in evidence.

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