OF JUDGMENT: 12/29/2017
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. WILLIAM E. CHAPMAN III
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: CHRISTOPHER JACKSON WELDY
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES: DONNA MARIE MEEHAN ANSELM J.
Around 2:40 a.m. on January 1, 2012, Derrick Evans and Ryan
Cobb got into a fight in the parking lot just outside of
Shucker's Oyster and Piano Bar in Ridgeland. Cobb punched
Evans in the face, breaking his nose. Evans sued Cobb and
Shucker's in county court. The court granted summary
judgment in favor of Cobb based on the one-year statute of
limitations for assault and battery claims. The court also
granted summary judgment in favor of Shucker's, holding
that there was no genuine issue of material fact and that
Shucker's was entitled to judgment as a matter of law on
Evans's premises liability claim. The circuit court
affirmed both rulings. We also affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Around 6 p.m. on December 31, 2011, Derrick Evans and his
friends Jennifer and Leah went to Shucker's to ring in
the new year. Shortly before midnight, a woman stumbled into
Leah, causing Leah to spill her drink. According to Evans, a
"little shuffle" ensued, but in "a matter of
seconds" security removed the woman from the premises
without any further disturbance. As it turns out, the woman
was with Ryan Cobb and a group of his friends. Cobb denied
that security required the woman to leave the bar. He
testified that he and his fiancée called her a cab,
and she left voluntarily.
Around 2 a.m., it was closing time,  time to go out into the
world. Shucker's turned the lights up over every boy and
every girl. It was time for the few customers still at the
bar to finish their whiskey or beer. They didn't have to
go home, but they couldn't stay at Shucker's.
Evans knew who he wanted to take him home. Jennifer's
husband, Fred, was going to pick up Evans, Jennifer, and Leah
when he got off of work around 2 a.m. Fred would take them
back to the places they were from. So Evans moved it to the
exits and found his friends.
Evans and his friends walked out to the parking lot, near the
entrance to Shucker's, to wait on Fred. Cobb was also
outside waiting for his ride, along with his fiancée,
his sister, and his brother-in-law. Both parties were still
waiting for their rides at 2:40 a.m., about forty minutes
after Shucker's had closed. According to Cobb, at some
point while they were waiting, his fiancée and his
sister apologized to Leah about the earlier incident with
their friend, and Leah said it was "fine" and
"no problem." Cobb testified, however, that after
his sister and his fiancée walked back inside to use
the restroom, Leah began calling them "whores, Jackson
trash, this that and the other." This led to a heated
argument between Leah and Cobb and his brother-in-law.
According to Cobb, Evans interjected and told him and his
brother-in-law to "shut their f*****g mouths."
Surveillance video of the parking lot captured what
transpired next. Fred arrived to pick up Evans, Jennifer, and
Leah. Fred's car stopped a few feet away from the group,
but Evans says he did not know that Fred had arrived. Cobb
walked over to Evans and kicked the back of Evans's
chair. In response, Evans immediately stood up and threw the
chair at Cobb, hitting both Cobb and his brother-in-law. In
his deposition, Evans claimed that he just "randomly
tossed the chair" and "wasn't intending to hit
anybody." He said he threw the chair to "let them
know to leave [him] alone."
Leah and Jennifer then attempted to pull Evans to Fred's
waiting car, but Cobb and his brother-in-law followed them,
and their argument continued. Cobb's brother-in-law
grabbed Evans's hat off his head, and Leah attempted to
strike Cobb. Suddenly, Cobb punched Evans once in the face,
and Evans fell to the ground. The punch was thrown about
twenty-four seconds after Cobb first kicked Evans's
chair. About ten seconds later, three Shucker's security
guards ran out of ...