Lawsuit against NorthPark Center compares parking lot to Fast & Furious
A lawsuit has been filed against NorthPark Center following the death of a patron in March, and calling for the Dallas shopping center to close its parking lots for a year.
The lawsuit alleges that NorthPark's parking lots have been the site of what a release calls "Fast & Furious-style joyriding" by individuals and gatherings since 2011.
On March 11, 2019, two guests from China, Mr. Yu Luo and Mr. Shiguo Wang, parked in the parking garage attached to Nordstrom, headed for a restaurant. The Nordstrom skywalk entrance was locked, so the two friends headed towards the other skywalk which enters the mall directly from the second floor of the garage.
The suit alleges that Christopher Ryan Shaw of Lewisville was making a high-speed run in his Dodge Charger from the ground floor towards the roof of the garage. A police report states that he was driving at an unsafe speed when he hit the two men in a crosswalk.
He tried avoiding them but lost control. Luo was slammed into the elevator wall and was killed. Wang was thrown over the edge of the second floor, sustaining injuries requiring multiple surgeries and hospitalization since March.
Luo's mutilated body was found near the Nordstrom skywalk where it was seen by employees and mall visitors.
The suit alleges that NorthPark knowingly tolerated joyriding and failed to make reasonable attempts to abate it, and that the activity meets the definition of "organized criminal activity."
NorthPark Security president David Jensen stated in an affidavit that release of a video showing the accident "would be detrimental to the image and reputation NorthPark Center has assiduously worked to create and maintain."
A statement from NorthPark states that, following the incident, NorthPark immediately began its investigation alongside legal counsel and local authorities.
"While NorthPark remains deeply saddened by this incident, NorthPark unequivocally denies all claims of wrongdoing asserted in the lawsuit," the statement says, with a referral to the Dallas Police Department report revealing that the driver was driving under the influence of drugs including THC and amphetamines.
NorthPark stepped up its security in 2016 following a string of robberies in the parking lot, a year that shopping-related crimes increased inside the mall, as well.
The wrongful death and severe injuries lawsuit against NorthPark was filed by Lenahan Law Firm, a Dallas personal injury firm, seeking damages for two "catastrophically injured" families.
As part of its suit, Lenahan also includes video of other joyrides, as well as aerial photographs of the parking structure dating back to 2011 showing a history of tire skid marks and doughnuts.
"Once again, NorthPark Center has proven that keeping its customers' money so that it can humble-flaunt its wealth is more important to it than keeping its customers safe," says lawyer Marc Lenahan.