AUSTIN (CN) - Five former workers say the owners of a steakhouse ignored their complaints that a manager was mistreating and belittling a co-worker, who finally came to the steakhouse and shot the manager five times, killing him. One plaintiff, a manager, says she brought up the mistreatment again at a staff meeting that ended 5 minutes before the fatal shooting. Their co-worker then drove away into the hills and killed himself.
The plaintiffs say they suffered post traumatic stress disorder after seeing it all. They sued Steiner Steakhouse aka Steiner Ranch Restaurant, and its four owners, in Travis County Court.
One plaintiff, a manager at the Austin steakhouse, says she told the owners before the shooting that manager Chris Martin had been riding Brian Beck, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The plaintiffs say that before the shooting, "Chris Martin had singled out decedent Beck and was constantly mistreating decedent Beck ... and belittling decedent Beck at his job in front of his co-workers."
The plaintiff manager, Meredith Maclaskey, says the managers had a meeting at the steakhouse from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on the day of the shooting. "During that afternoon's meeting, plaintiff Maclaskey again brought to all the managers' attention and to those present at that meeting, including the son of defendant Bobby Steiner, of the mistreatment of decedent Beck.
"Minutes after the meeting, approximately around 4:05 p.m., decedent Beck walked into the steakhouse and passed by plaintiff Jamie Rayes and plaintiff Maclaskey before he started shooting at decedent Chris Martin.
"The shooting was very traumatic to plaintiffs who were severely traumatized and affected by the shooting, especially for plaintiffs Maclaskey and Rayes, who were a short 6-9 feet in distance from where decedent Beck was shooting and firing his handgun with multiple rounds.
"Soon after the shooting, decedent Beck left the scene in his vehicle and was later found two weeks after the incident in a secluded hill country area where it was determined that Mr. Beck had shot himself in suicide."
Despite the trauma of witnessing the killing, Maclaskey says the defendants ordered her to keep closing up the restaurant by herself at 1 a.m.
All five plaintiffs say they suffer sleep disorders, fear and anxiety and still suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. They say they were not given any time off or offered medical help for their trauma and were all fired several months later.
They seek damages and exemplary damages for negligence, mental anguish, lost wages and medical care. They are represented by Elias Lorenzanna Jr.
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