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Lawsuit filed against Cracker Barrel in fatal 2012 shootings

12:30 PM, Oct 11, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- The family of Kate Allen, who along with her daughters died following a shooting at a Cracker Barrel, has filed a lawsuit against the chain that operates the Brooklyn restaurant.

Terry Gilbert, the lawyer representing the family, said the lawsuit claims Cracker Barrel was negligent the night of the shooting in April 2012.

"It could have been prevented. And they didn't even try. And we want to get to the bottom of it. We want to get their policies and procedures and security measures," said Gilbert.

Kevin Allen, Kate Allen's husband, showed up at the Cracker Barrel and shot his wife and two daughters, reports say. One daughter was hospitalized, but died from her injuries about a month after the shooting.

Kevin Allen was shot and killed by police when he exited the restaurant and refused to surrender.

Gilbert says new evidence shows staff knew Kevin was a threat.

Gilbert says a hostess and manager knew of a shotgun shell inside Allen's pocket, and talked to a friend of Kate's by phone, begging them for help and protection.

Kate also called 9-1-1, telling police she'd just informed her husband she planned to leave him and he was not taking it well.

"The manager just said, well, we don't get involved in domestic matters," said Gilbert. "And there was about three or four minutes until [Kevin Allen] came back into the restaurant and started shooting."

Gilbert says companies concerned for their customers' safety should see the nation's rash of shootings, questions about mental health and gun control, and put a protocol in place to keep things like this from happening again.

"If the fire alarm goes off, you don't just sit around and wait for the fire. You do something, you take certain steps," said Gilbert.

Cracker Barrel issued the following statement:

The tragic events that took place in our Brooklyn, Ohio Cracker Barrel Old Country Store in April 2012 deeply saddened the Allen family, the community, our employees, and our company. Although we cannot comment on the lawsuit that was filed on October 10, 2013, we believe that in times of difficulty, families and communities come together and we are grateful to the Brooklyn community for their continued support and acts of kindness.

WKYC-TV

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