‘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

Town of Sylvan Lake passes 2019 tax rate, estimates education tax

Sylvan Lake and all municipalities have been left without an education tax from the Province

Town of Sylvan Lake to replace old water meters to streamline monthly billing

Town Council also approved replacing old water meters to the current technology

Drivers reminded impairment and driving don’t mix

National Road Safety Week May 14 to 20

Former Sylvan Lake resident launches latest book

Talena Winters will launch her book at the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library on Friday

Sylvan Lake bans use of charcoal barbecues in Town parks

Visitors and residents picnicking in Sylvan Lake are asked to leave the charcoal barbecues at home

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Growing wildfire prompts warning for High Level to prepare for evacuation

Town of High Level announced Monday that residents should get personal items in order

Carbon tax, desk-thumping on agenda in upcoming Alberta legislature session

Jason Kenney has appointed a panel to come up with ways to reduce spending in the budget this fall

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Authorities warn out-of-control wildfire could cut northern Alberta town’s electricity

Alberta Transportation has closed Highway 35 south of High Level due to the fire

‘Rope-a-dope’: Environmentalists say Alberta war room threat won’t distract them

Those against Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aren’t worried about promise to fight critics of energy industry

Almost $13 million to be paid to Grande Prairie hospital subcontractors, others

No reasons for the Court of Queen’s Bench order were released

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Most Read