‘A matter of principle:’ Family of slain CFL player files lawsuit against bar

The murder trial heard that several players, including Hicks, were celebrating a victory over Winnipeg

The family of a pro football player gunned down outside a Calgary bar has filed a lawsuit against the nightclub and its staff alleging they let a disagreement over a spilled drink escalate into a shooting.

Mylan Hicks, a 23-year-old player from Detroit who was on the Calgary Stampeders’ practice roster, was shot and killed outside the Marquee Beer Market on Sept. 25, 2016.

A verdict in the second-degree murder trial of Nelson Lugela is scheduled for Monday.

The family’s statement of claim alleges Marquee and an unnamed supervisor were “vicariously liable for the actions and negligence of its employees and agents.”

“Marquee essentially has a duty of care to ensure that all of the patrons that visit their premises are reasonably safe for the reasons that they’re there,” said Calgary lawyer Petrina Wallebeck, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Hicks’s estate as well as his mother Renee Fowkles-Hill and father Reggie Hill in Detroit.

“There is essentially a series of events … that indicate they would have fallen below that standard of care.”

The murder trial heard that several players, including Hicks, were celebrating a victory over Winnipeg in a Canadian Football League game hours earlier. A disagreement inside the bar over a spilled drink intensified in the parking lot after closing time.

Witnesses testified that after some pushing and shoving, an individual appeared holding a handgun and opened fire at Hicks, who was hit in the abdomen and chest, and died later in hospital.

“No staff members, employees or agents of Marquee intervened and the altercation continued to escalate,” reads the statement. “The altercation continued into the parking lot in front of Marquee where Mylan was shot and killed.”

None of the allegations has been proven in court and a statement of defence has not been filed. Marquee Beer Market did not respond to a request for comment.

Wallebeck said the family is asking for the maximum allowed under Alberta legislation — about $82,000 in bereavement damages.

“It’s certainly not a monetary windfall. It’s more holding all parties that had responsibility for this event accountable,” said Wallebeck.

“It’s a matter of principle, certainly on an overarching policy level, in terms of making sure a bar or a club changes their policy and procedure to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future.”

Wallebeck said it’s important to Hicks’s family that he didn’t die in vain.

“The parents essentially were fine with him coming here and basically lent us that talent and this young man lost his life.” she said.

“It feels like it was on our watch and whatever we can do to make sure that the bar is held responsible. It helps the family going forward with our city basically helping other establishments change their ways.”

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Reflections: The early construction of then Ponoka mental hospital

Looking at the early development of then provincial mental hospital in Ponoka

Wolf Creek Schools superintendent receives contract extension

Jayson Lovell will continue to serve as superintendent through 2024

Ponoka fire crews deal with trailer fire on the QEII

There wasn’t much left of a 53 foot trailer after it went up in flames near Ponoka

Suspects from Ponoka charged in pawn shop theft

Ponoka RCMP say the two face several charges from Stampede Pawn incident

Ponoka provides update on recent water main breaks

Some roads continue to be closed to traffic as repairs to be completed

Defiant vigil starts healing in New Zealand after massacre

Police say the gunman in the shooting that killed 50 acted alone

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Notley’s government puts priority on health care in throne speech

Lt.-Gov. Lois Mitchell kicked off the legislature session

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

Ponoka RCMP on lookout for stolen pickup

The black 2011 Ford F350 King Ranch pickup was stolen from a rural residence

B.C. argues it cannot stop Trans Mountain, but it can protect environment

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says only Ottawa has the authority to decide what goes in trans-boundary pipelines

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick retires in wake of SNC-Lavalin case

Jody Wilson-Raybould accused Wernick of pressuring her to head off criminal charges for the firm

Most Read