SANTA MONICA (CNS) - Attorneys for the owners of a restaurant in the Westfield Century City mall are seeking dismissal of their client in a lawsuit brought on behalf of three young children of a man fatally shot at the mall in 2020, arguing in new court papers that the upscale eatery had nothing to do with the fatal confrontation between the victim and the shooter.
Ryan Deshane Givens Jr., 29, of Los Angeles, was killed in the shooting that occurred around 10:30 p.m. Jan. 20, 2020, on Santa Monica Boulevard. The suit filed in December 2020 names as defendants the restaurant, Javier's, the mall and the alleged gunman, Brandon Hinton, who was arrested in Baltimore in March 2020 by FBI agents, extradited to Los Angeles and later acquitted during a criminal trial.
"Plaintiffs attempt to link the shooting incident with an unrelated dispute that occurred earlier that evening between patrons at Javier's," the eatery's lawyers state in court papers filed Monday with Santa Monica Superior Court Judge Mark Young. "However, the undisputed facts clearly demonstrate that there is no causal connection between the incident in Javier's and the separate shooting incident."
Givens and Hinton, now 30, were at Javier's earlier in the evening when a fight broke out between Hinton's girlfriend and another woman, according to the restaurant's attorneys' court papers, which further state that Hinton was later chased outside of another restaurant where he was beaten and kicked on the ground.
Hinton, who did not interact with Givens at Javier's, escaped his attackers and went to a parking structure, according to the restaurant's attorneys' court papers.
"Hinton entered his car and sat there for a few minutes and armed himself with a 9mm pistol," the Javier's attorneys' court papers state. "Hinton then drove his car out of the parking garage onto Santa Monica Boulevard. He pulled over near the valet exit and exited his vehicle."
Hinton parked his car on Santa Monica Boulevard and while waiting for his girlfriend, Givens drove by and nearly ran over one of Hinton's feet, prompting Hinton to kick at the car and curse at Givens, the restaurant's attorneys' court papers state.
Givens parked, got out of his car with his hands in his jacket and began running at Hinton, screaming "I'm going to kill you," according to the eatery's lawyers' court papers.
Hinton at first retreated into the parking structure while being chased by Givens, then turned toward Givens, who was still running toward him and yelling, and fired multiple shots at him, according to the Javier's attorneys' court papers.
The suit alleges that the shooting was foreseeable and that therefore Javier's had an obligation to provide some protection for Givens after matters escalated outside the restaurant. The restaurant's attorneys disagree.
"Plaintiffs attempt to rationalize a causal connection between the altercation inside Javier's, where Hinton and (Givens) never interacted with each other, to the shooting incident that began after they left the premises, which requires nothing short of logical gymnastics," the Javier's attorneys argue.
A hearing on the Javier's motion is scheduled for Sept. 12.