Notsuoh Hit With Lawsuit For Bizarre 2009 Falling Man Incident
Last February Hair Balls reported on a bizarre pre-dawn incident at downtown nightclub/art space Notsuoh in which a highly intoxicated man allegedly fell out of one the upper floors of the building at 316 Main.
That man, now identified as Nathan Fisher, survived, and is now suing Notsuoh owners Jim Pirtle and Missy Bosch and the limited liability companies that control both that establishment and the one in control of Dean's.
Through attorneys Donna Roth and Kevin O'Malley, Fisher alleges that he spent the evening consuming alcohol at Dean's and Notsuoh.
The suit contends that the two bars continued serving him after it was apparent that he was obviously intoxicated to the point that he was a clear danger to himself and others. The suit further alleges that Fisher was invited to continue drinking and partying upstairs after last call, again, despite his allegedly obvious high level of intoxication.
Fisher claims in the suit to have continued to purchase alcohol after closing time until such time as he fell out of "a second story opening that was neither windowed or barred." (Last year, a Notsuoh patron who was there at the time told us Fisher was discovered bleeding in the street between 5 and 6 a.m.)
The suit claims that at the time of the incident, Fisher "was obviously intoxicated suffering acute alcohol intoxication with a high blood alcohol level" -- Wow, a simple "shit-faced" could have replaced all 28 of those italicized syllables -- "and was unable to comprehend where or what he was doing and was seriously injured."
One issue the lawsuit attempts to straddle: whether or not the upper floors of Notsuoh are a bar, and thus subject to dram shop liability.
The suit contends those floors are a bar, but Pirtle has long maintained that they are not, that his upstairs guests are attending private parties.
According to the plaintiff, that point is moot for the purposes of the suit, for even if the upper stories are not a bar, the plaintiff claims that Pirtle and the other defendants were negligent in failing in their duty to provide Fisher, "a business invitee," with a safe environment.
Namely, the suit claims that the defendants "failed to provide walls that did not have large gaping holes in them" and allowed Fisher to access those dangerous walls in his highly inebriated condition. The plaintiff also contends that Pirtle should not have "failed to refuse to allow plaintiff come upstairs in his intoxicated state."
This is probably standard legal jargon in suits like this, but it seems laughable to us: the plaintiff contends that "nothing he did or failed to do in any way contributed to cause the occurrence in question," which makes it sound as if it was nothing but the Hand of Almighty God that placed him on the upper floor of Notsuoh at 4 a.m. with a bellyful of what even he admits to have been a truly astounding quantity of hooch.
At any rate, Fisher is suing for damages: past and future physical pain and mental anguish, lost earnings, damage to earning capacity, physical impairment and disfigurement, and medical expenses.
Notsuoh owner Jim Pirtle refused to comment. We have a call in to plaintiff's attorney Roth, so we'll update if warranted.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.
- College and NFL Football: Thanksgiving Weekend's Best Bets
Sat., Nov. 28, 7:00pm
Sun., Nov. 29, 12:00pm
Mon., Nov. 30, 7:00pm
Wed., Dec. 2, 7:00pm
- The 10 Best Things About the Holidays in Houston
- Prosecutors: Paxton's Hollow Outrage at "DEFCON 1"