Michael Gatto was killed in August of 2014 and the Gatto family hasn’t been the same since. Not only that, Statesboro hasn’t been the same. The 18-year-old was killed after an argument ensued with a bouncer outside of a Statesboro bar then called, “Rude Rudy’s”.
Grant Spencer, the bouncer at Rude Rudy’s that assaulted Gatto was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his actions.
Since the death of Michael Gatto, the State of Georgia enabled “Michael’s Law” which prohibits anyone under the age of 21 from entering any bar in the state.
The Gatto family are currently suing the city of Statesboro under these counts:
From The George-Anne:
Count 1: Negligence- Ministerial Breach and Failure to Supervise
- for failure to supervise Clerk Starling regarding the duty to set administrative hearing before the City Council for underage drinking violations of the law that occurred on or about March 22, 2013 and March 28, 2013 at Rude Rudy’s and for Starling’s failure to set due process hearings upon her notice of the violations at Rude Rudy’s.
Count 2: Nuisance
- for Statesboro and Starlings’ acts in allowing Rude Rudy’s to remain open by not revoking its alcohol license and/or business license therefore creating a hazardous and dangerous condition at Rudy’s.
Count 3: Nuisance Created by Defendant: Statesboro’s Changes to the Alcohol ordinance:
- allowed underage individuals with a criminal record to be employed as bouncers at establishments holding an alcohol license and removed accountability.
- removed any accountability for establishments to comply with required 50/50 ratio of food to alcohol sales.
- removed any substantive penalty from being implemented against businesses for sale of alcohol to underage patrons.
- created a dangerous environment at establishments in Statesboro by encouraging the sale of alcohol to underage college students.
Count 4: Punitive Damages
- for demonstrating a disregard for the life and safety of citizens
Count 5: Expenses of Litigation
- for the cost of legal action
“There are plenty of bars out there that knowingly serve minors and do it and profit from it and are enabled by local governments,” Katherine Gatto said.
The specific amount of monetary damages being sought by the Gatto family include:
- Final medical and burial expenses: $163,801.06
- Conscious pain and suffering: $1 million
- Wrongful Death damages: $10 million
Although Katherine Gatto could not speak about the City of Statesboro lawsuit, she said, “I just hope no family has to deal with what we’re dealing with.”
Unless extended by order of the Court, discovery in this case, will end on May 23, 2017.
The anticipated date that this case will be tried before a jury is July 2017. An extension will be granted only for good cause shown.