Olympic Inn owner sues city for $2.5 million

WARREN – The owner of Gadd’s Olympic Inn, 1129 Parkman Road, which has been closed since Aug. 4, 2012, when a woman was struck in the head by a stray bullet, filed a $2.5 million lawsuit against the city claiming it has interfered with her operating the business.

Linda Gadd claims in her lawsuit filed Aug. 2 in federal court in Youngstown that City Council members conspired to have her liquor license taken from her and interfered with her ability to conduct business and to sell the establishment.

The lawsuit specifically names as defendants Mayor Doug Franklin, councilmen Vincent Flask and Eddie Colbert, and council president Bob Dean.

Gadd claims the early morning shooting actually took place between people in the parking lot of Warren Concrete, 1113 Parkman Road, and on the edge of the property belonging to shooting victim Pamela Dial, 1175 Parkman Road.

Dial was lying in bed when one of the bullets went through the wood frame house and hit her in the head. She suffered severe brain and other injuries.

“The shots crossed the plaintiff’s (Gadd’s Olympic Inn’s) property but did not originate from it,” the lawsuit claims.

Antonio Maurice Price was convicted in the shooting, and was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

“No evidence has been put forth that links the shooter to the plaintiff or her property,” according to the lawsuit.

Gadd states that she met with Colbert, D-7th Ward, and Flask, D-5th Ward, at Panera Bread the following Friday and was told the council would be objecting to the renewal of the liquor license.

Colbert, according to the lawsuit, told her he would “rather see grass growing in the parking lot” than see the bar reopened. He told Gadd not to attend a special meeting of City Council in which a vote against the renewal of the liquor license was scheduled.

Gadd, according to the suit, left the meeting confused and distraught because she did not understand her connection with the shooting.

Dean later notified her to attend the the council meeting, but she was not allowed to speak, the lawsuit states.

Gadd claims she was told by Colbert that she would not be allowed to sell the business unless council approved the sale. She says she had a purchaser lined up before the shooting, but the sale subsequently fell through. The city’s objecting to the renewal of the liquor license adversely affected the value of the property, she states.

Because of the negligent and reckless accusations of the council members, Gadd claims to have suffered extensive losses and have been substantially damaged. Gadd says the Olympic Inn was her sole source of income.

When contacted Wednesday, Dean, Flask and Colbert said they were not aware of the lawsuit. Colbert and Flask said they would have to talk to city’s law department prior to commenting on the lawsuit.

Meanwhile, Dial and her husband, Terrance, last week filed a civil lawsuit in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court against Gadd, five unidentified employees, and Price, seeking more than $25,000 on each of four counts in connection with the shooting.

The Dials’ suit claims that Price was in the bar on Aug. 3, and in the early morning hours of Aug. 4, he got into a fight and was pepper-sprayed by someone working for the bar.

”Price was then thrown out of the bar, and while exiting the bar, he heard gunshots being fired and believed they were being fired at him,” the lawsuit states.

Price retrieved a gun from his vehicle and began firing even though he didn’t know where the shots he heard were coming from, the lawsuit states. One of the bullets pierced the siding of the home.

The lawsuit states that in 33 months prior to the shooting, Warren police recorded 42 incidents of assaults, fights and disturbances at the Olympic during the period, nine incidents of gunshots being fired were at the address of the Olympic and three of those shots occurred within 13 days of the date Dial was shot.

The lawsuit states that Gadd failed to employ security officers even after she discussed the move with Warren police; failed to post signs that there were security cameras recording activities; failed to adequately light the parking lot; and hired unskilled, untrained and ill-equipped individuals as bouncers at the bar.