Wrongful death suit filed against Marlow

Published 9:19 am Tuesday, November 22, 2011


The family of a man who was assaulted outside an Ironton bar this past November, and later died, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Anthony Thibodaux, brother and administrator of the estate of Edward Lee Thibodaux, is suing the Marlow Grill, Juditha and the late Charles Rice, Phillip R. Rice and Dennis A. Clark for negligence, wrongful death and several other counts, saying all defendants were “reckless, gross and egregious and carried on with a total disregard to life and person.”

Email newsletter signup

The Thibodaux family is represented by attorney Randy A. Byrd of Cincinnati, who declined to comment on the case.

The complaint alleges that Clark negligently and intentionally struck Thibodaux in the face, which ultimately caused his death. The complaint also alleges that the Marlow Grill and the Rices were negligent by allowing Clark to stay at the bar while intoxicated and that they had a “duty to the decedent and the public in general to prevent fighting, rioting and reveling on the premises,” and should have known that Clark was “noticeably intoxicated.”

Phillip Rice said he and his family were frustrated by the situation, don’t understand why they are being sued after a year and feel that they were not at fault whatsoever.

“It’s been a year, and I thought that it was done with,” Rice said. “Apparently they want to go through with it.”

The Rices owned the building the Marlow is in and the business itself when the incident occurred. Phillip Rice said the family sold the Marlow in February but still owns the building that houses it and two other spaces.

“The incident took place outside of the business,” Rice said. “Either in the parking lot possibly or on the sidewalk. We don’t for sure know all the facts of what happened. It might have even happened in the street. Who knows?”

Thibodaux was found unresponsive Nov. 11 by the Ironton Police Department after they responded to the reported assault outside of the Marlow on South Third Street. Thibodaux was then taken to King’s Daughters Medical Center and later transferred to Cabell Huntington Hospital.

Thibodaux died as a result of his injuries on Nov. 23.

Clark, 39, was sentenced to nine years in prison in March for the death of Thibodaux, who was 40 years old at the time.

Clark was initially charged with murder, but a grand jury reduced the charges to involuntary manslaughter. He is serving his time at the Noble Correctional Institution in Caldwell.

“The incident could have happened anywhere,” Rice said. “It could have happened at McDonald’s or outside of a church or a school or whatever. There is only so much we can be responsible for. We called the police immediately. Arrests were made. A trial was held. (Clark) was found guilty and sentenced to prison. And we were not found in anyway a part of the situation.”

Rice said the family’s insurance company, Auto Owners, has not appointed them with legal counsel as of yet.

According to the complaint, the Thibodaux family is seeking to recover medical expenses, which have not yet been determined.

The suit also seeks compensatory and punitive damages for each count named “in an amount yet to be determined, but in excess of $25,000 … for each defendant.”