$2.7M Award for Deadly Fight Struck Down

By SHEILA BURKE | June 1, 2012

The Tennessee Supreme Court has overturned a ruling that said an insurance company must pay $2.7 million in damages for a bar fight in Hendersonville that left one man dead and injured another.

The state’s highest court on Wednesday said the insurance policy for the now-defunct Sputniks bar and restaurant expressly stated that it did not pay for damages as a result of assault and battery.

Court records say that David Smotherman assaulted Samuel Clark “by hitting his head repeatedly on a table until he killed him.” Leonard Gamble was injured trying to stop the attack. Smotherman was ultimately convicted of reckless homicide.

Clark’s widow and Gamble sued Sputniks afterward. A Sumner County court ruled in their favor, and they have been trying to collect from the insurance company since.

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