Former rap music mogul Marion “Suge” Knight sued Chris Brown and the owners of a popular southern California nightclub on Monday after he was shot seven times at a 2014 party hosted by the R&B singer.
The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court accuses Brown and nightclub 1 Oak of failing to have adequate security and allowing at least one armed person into the venue during the party.
Knight survived gunshot wounds to the abdomen, chest and left forearm. The Death Row Records co-founder has cited complications from those injuries, including a blood clot, in court appearances on an unrelated murder charge.
His attorneys say Knight’s fear months after the shooting led him to flee when he was attacked in his car, running down two men and killing one. Knight, who is a two-time convicted felon, is in jail awaiting trial.
The lawsuit does not state how much money Knight is seeking, but it asks for a judgment ordering the defendants to pay past and future medical expenses for his injuries.
Emails sent to Brown’s attorney, Mark Geragos, and the owners of 1 Oak were not immediately returned Monday.
The lawsuit contends 1 Oak should have taken special security precautions because events hosted by Brown have a history of violence. It accuses Brown of gang ties and a “well-documented track record of hosting events and/or parties in which violence frequently erupted.”
Brown has completed probation in a 2009 felony assault case in which he attacked singer Rihanna, his then-girlfriend. He has not been implicated in the August 2014 shooting, and no arrests have been made.
“As a result of the negligence of the defendants, one or more unknown individuals were allowed access to the event with weapons, including firearms,” the lawsuit says. “As a foreseeable result, gunshots were fired by those admitted into the event and (Knight) was shot and seriously injured.”
Singer Pia Mia, who co-hosted the party, is also named as a defendant. An email sent to her publicist was not immediately returned.
Knight also was shot and wounded at a 2005 party hosted by Kanye West in Miami Beach. He sued the rapper, blaming him for lax security, but a judge ruled in West’s favor after concluding there was no evidence a shooting was foreseeable.
Knight has a string of legal problems dating back more than 20 years and was charged in two separate cases soon after the 2014 shooting.
The 51-year-old and comedian Katt Williams were accused of stealing a celebrity photographer’s camera in Beverly Hills within days of the shooting. Both men have pleaded not guilty to robbery charges.
Months later, Knight was charged with running over two men with his pickup truck outside a Compton burger stand, killing one and seriously injuring the other. Knight’s attorneys have said he was fleeing armed attackers in the January 2015 collision.
They say Knight was acting in self-defense when he struck Cle “Bone” Sloan, who was punching Knight through the window of his pickup truck, and also hit Terry Carter, who died from his injuries.
Attorneys J. Tooson and Jeremy Lessem linked Knight’s injuries from the nightclub shooting to the Compton incident, saying he was afraid for his life and still recovering.
“Mr. Knight was still extremely frail from his gunshot injuries less than five months earlier,” Tooson wrote in a statement. “When the facts are finally revealed in this case, we’re certain it will be apparent that our client was simply trying to flee for his life.”
Knight was a key player in the gangster rap scene that flourished in the 1990s and has been kept under tight security since he turned himself in to authorities after the deadly collision.
His Death Row Records label once listed Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg among its artists. Knight lost control of the company after it was forced into bankruptcy.
Knight pleaded no contest in 1995 and was sentenced to five years’ probation for assaulting two rappers in 1992. He was sentenced to prison in 1997 for violating his probation by taking part in a fight at a Las Vegas hotel hours before Shakur was fatally wounded in a drive-by attack as he rode in Knight’s car.
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