A patron is suing a Norridge restaurant, alleging negligence in an altercation involving a highly controversial guest speaker at the eatery that he says caused him physical injury.
John Gisselbrecht filed a lawsuit July 28 in Cook County Circuit Court against Mawk’s Edelweiss, doing business as Edelweiss German American Cuisine, alleging negligence in the 2009 incident.
According to the complaint, Edelweiss German American Cuisine had invited David Irving, an internationally known author and Nazi regime supporter who openly advocated Holocaust denial, to speak at the restaurant Nov. 23, 2009, without knowing his previous public appearances had led to violence.
The lawsuit states Gisselbrecht was a patron at the business, 7650 W. Irving Park Road, Norridge, on the same evening the writer appeared for his presentation. A group of masked people entered the facility and committed acts of violence, the suit says, and a member of the group threw a blunt object at him that struck the plaintiff in the face and left him with injuries.
The plaintiff charges Edelweiss with negligence for failing to screen either the guest speaker or the masked group and neglecting to provide for the safety of its patrons. The suit says the defendant failed to acknowledge the need for increased security given the speaker’s reputation, to warn patrons of the risk of violence, or to take action when alerted to possible danger after a customer observed “suspicious subjects” in the restaurant’s parking lot.
The plaintiff alleges pain, suffering and medical expenses.
Gisselbrecht seeks more than $50,000, plus attorney fees and costs. He is represented by attorney Michael Kosner of The Deratany Firm in Chicago.
Cook County Circuit Court case number 2015L007647.