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IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS

HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO

MAIKEL STEELE : CASE NO.


Administrator of the Estate of :
OBryan Raphael Spikes, deceased, : JUDGE
date of death March 26, 2017 :
:
Plaintiff, :
: COMPLAINT WITH JURY
v. : DEMAND
:
CAMEO CINCINNATI, LLC :
c/o Julian Rodgers, statutory agent :
1203 Main Street :
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 :
:
JULIAN RODGERS, Individually :
1203 Main Street :
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 :
:
Serve also at: :
2620 Morrow Place :
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 :
:
JRODG GROUP, LLC :
c/o Julian Rodgers, statutory agent :
2620 Morrow Place :
Cincinnati, Ohio 45204 :
:
Serve also at: :
1203 Main Street :
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 :
:
KELLOGG GROUP, LLC :
c/o Kevin Blair, statutory agent :
4588 Kellogg Avenue :
Cincinnati, Ohio 45226 :
:
CITY OF CINCINNATI :
c/o Paula Boggs Muething, City :
Solicitor :
801 Plum Street :
City Hall, Room 214 :
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 :
:
BRIAN A. BRAZILE, Cincinnati :
Police Officer :
310 Ezzard Charles Drive :
Cincinnati, Ohio 45214 :
:
DAVID DOZIER, Cincinnati Police :
Officer :
310 Ezzard Charles Drive :
Cincinnati, Ohio 45214 :
:
JOEHONNY N. REESE, Cincinnati :
Police Officer :
310 Ezzard Charles Drive :
Cincinnati, Ohio 45214 :
:
DIONDRE L. WINSTEAD, :
Cincinnati Police Officer
310 Ezzard Charles Drive
Cincinnati, Ohio 45214

Defendants.

Now comes Plaintiff Maikel Steele (Plaintiff), Administrator of the Estate of OBryan

Raphael Spikes, by and through undersigned counsel, and for her Complaint in the above captioned

matter states as follows:

PARTIES AND JURISDICTION

1. Plaintiff brings this action as the duly-appointed personal representative and

Administrator of the Estate of OBryan Raphael Spikes (Spikes), by order of the Hamilton

County Probate Court on September 26, 2017, for the exclusive benefit of Spikes next of kin,

including his three minor children who survive him, OBryanna, OZayvion, and Arielle. See

Letters of Authority attached hereto as Exhibit 1.

2. Defendant Cameo Cincinnati, LLC (Cameo) is an Ohio limited liability company

and at all relevant times to this Complaint did business under the trade name Cameo Nightclub.

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3. Upon information and belief, Cameo is operated by Defendant JRODG Group, LLC

(JRODG), an Ohio limited liability company.

4. Defendant Julian Rodgers (Rodgers) is the statutory agent and a member of

Cameo and JRODG. Julian Rodgers determined and enforced the policies and procedures of

Cameo, specifically but not limited to those policies and procedures detailed more fully below.

5. Defendant Kellogg Group, LLC (Kellogg) is an Ohio limited liability company,

which, upon information and belief, owns the building located at 4601 Kellogg Avenue,

Cincinnati, Ohio 45226, out of which JRODG operates Cameo. (Cameo, JRODG, Rodgers, and

Kellogg are referred to collectively as the Nightclub Defendants).

6. Defendant City of Cincinnati (City) is a municipal corporation organized under

the laws of the State of Ohio and is capable of being sued.

7. Defendant Brian A. Brazile (Brazile), is a Cincinnati Police officer who was

working as a private duty officer at Cameo on the evening of March 25, 2017 and into the morning

hours of March 26, 2017. Brazile is named as a defendant individually and in his official capacity

as a Cincinnati Police Officer.

8. Defendant Joehonny N. Reese (Reese) is a Cincinnati Police officer who was

working as a private duty officer at Cameo on the evening of March 25, 2017 and into the morning

hours of March 26, 2017. Reese is named as a defendant individually and in his official capacity

as a Cincinnati Police Officer.

9. Defendant Diondre L. Winstead (Winstead) is a Cincinnati Police officer who

was working as a private duty officer at Cameo on the evening of March 25, 2017 and into the

morning hours of March 26, 2017. Winstead is named as a defendant individually and in his official

capacity as a Cincinnati Police Officer.

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10. Defendants Brazile, Reese, and Winstead are collectively referred to herein as the

Security Defendants.

11. Spikes is survived by three children, OBryanna, OZayvion, and Arielle, both

parents, Owen Spikes and Racquel Mitchell, and three sisters, Raquice Mitchell, Mynagia Mallory,

and Breanna Jordan (Next of Kin).

12. Jurisdiction and venue are proper as the involved parties are all located in Hamilton

County, Ohio and the events that gave rise to the claims contained herein occurred in Hamilton

County, Ohio.

BACKGROUND FACTS

13. Rodgers has operated several nightclubs throughout the greater Cincinnati area for

many years. Rodgers ownership of these clubs is through various limited liability companies.

Among those clubs was Cameo, located at 4601 Kellogg Avenue #1, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226.

14. On the evening of March 25, 2017 and into the early morning hours of March 26,

2017, as a standard protocol, Cameo employed off duty police officers (the Security Defendants)

as part of its security detail. The Security Defendants were contracted by Cameo through the City.

True and accurate copies of the Citys Outside Employment Work Permit and

Acknowledgment by the Secondary Employer are attached hereto as Exhibits 2 and 3,

respectively.

15. By all outward appearances, Cameo required, as part of its security procedure, all

patrons to enter through one entrance and be screened for weapons prior to entrance.

16. Upon information and belief, throughout his tenure as a nightclub owner/operator,

Rodgers has established a policy, pattern, and practice of creating a secretly unsafe atmosphere for

the patrons of Cameo, by, among other things, permitting some patrons to bypass the security

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protocols at the entrance and enter without passing through metal detectors or otherwise being

screened for weapons (the Security Bypass).

17. Patrons with knowledge of the Security Bypass, were permitted to avail themselves

of any security measures by paying an additional cover charge and entering Cameo through an

alternate side entrance.

18. Upon information and belief, Rodgers established and maintained the Security

Bypass specifically because he knew that the appearance of a safe club was necessary to maintain

his business, but also that a certain number of his patrons would be turned off if they were unable

to bring weapons into Cameo.

19. Faced with the choice of complying with the law or creating an unsafe environment

without warning would-be patrons of the danger, Rodgers chose profit over people.

20. Upon information and belief, on the night of March 25, 2017 and/or morning of

March 26, 2017, Deondre Davis (Davis) and Cornell Beckley (Beckley), among others, made

use of the Security Bypass when they entered Cameo. That is, neither Davis nor Beckley, nor other

patrons who made use of the Security Bypass were checked for weapons prior to entering Cameo.

21. On the night of March 25, 2017 and/or March 26, 2017, Davis and Beckley and

others who made use of the Security Bypass entered Cameo while armed with firearms. Davis,

Beckley, and the other customers who brought firearms into Cameo on the night in question are

referred to hereinafter as the Armed Patrons).

22. Upon information and belief, Rodgers extracted additional profit from the Armed

Patrons by charging an additional cover charge to allow them to enter Cameo without first passing

through security.

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23. R.C. 2923.121 provides that with limited exceptions, [n]o person shall possess a

firearm in any room in which any person is consuming beer or intoxicating liquor in a premises

for which a D permit has been issued under Chapter 4303. of the Revised Code or in an open air

arena for which a permit of that nature has been issued.

24. On information and belief, none of the Armed Patrons qualified for any of the

exceptions to R.C. 2923.121.

25. On the night of March 25, 2017 and/or morning of March 26, 2017, Spikes entered

Cameo through the main entrance and went through the purported security protocol.

26. In the early morning of March 26, 2017, and while Davis and Beckley, and other

Armed Patrons were inside Cameo (after having entered by means of the Security Bypass), two or

more Armed Patrons engaged in a gunfight within Cameo.

27. Spikes was not armed, nor was he part of the gunfight.

28. During the gunfight, Spikes was hit by a stray bullet and ultimately succumbed to

his injuries.

29. Had the Armed Patrons been required to enter through the main entrance and pass

through security, the Armed Patrons would not have been armed inside of Cameo, and Spikes

would not have been shot and killed.

COUNT ONE: SURVIVORSHIP GROSS NEGLIGENCE/PREMISES LIABILITY


(Nightclub Defendants)

30. Plaintiff incorporates all prior paragraphs as if fully rewritten herein.

31. The Nightclub Defendants have a duty to protect their patrons from foreseeable

harms.

32. The Nightclub Defendants duty to protect their patrons from foreseeable harms

contemplates the criminal acts of third parties where the same is reasonably foreseeable.

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33. The Nightclub Defendants breached their duty to protect patrons, including Spikes,

by:

a. Failing to employ adequate security measures to ensure that weapons were not
permitted inside of Cameo;

b. Creating a dangerous environment by allowing (for a fee) some patrons to enter


Cameo without going through security;

c. Intentionally creating the false appearance of a safe environment by hiring off-duty


police officers and other security employees to conduct screenings at the main
entrance; and

d. Failing to warn patrons of the Security Bypass and the dangers created thereby;

e. Failing to comply with the applicable laws and regulations set forth by the State of
Ohio and City of Cincinnati;

34. Upon information and belief, the Nightclub Defendants either directed patrons to

the Security Bypass or knew or should have known of its existence and permitted it to continue to

the harm and detriment of Cameo patrons, such as Spikes.

35. Harm to Cameo patrons resulting from the Nightclub Defendants breach of their

duty to protect their patrons was foreseeable, because:

a. certain patrons know they will not be checked for weapons Cameo and, thus, can
bring weapons into Cameo;

b. incidents of violence are foreseeable when weapons and alcohol are both present,
as is the precise reasoning behind laws prohibiting patrons from bringing weapons
into establishments that sell alcohol; and

c. similar acts of violence, including multiple shootings in 2015 and 2016 and a
stabbing earlier in March of 2017, have occurred at Cameo in the past, under the
ownership and operation of JRODG and Rodgers. See Police Reports attached as
Exhibits 4 through 7.

36. Cameos inadequate and/or deceptive security measures, and Kelloggs failure to

terminate its lease with JRODG and/or Cameo despite knowledge of repetitive and harmful

criminal activity occurring on its premises, or take any other reasonable measures to prevent such

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criminal activity from occurring on its premises, constitute conduct that is either grossly negligent,

reckless, wanton, and/or willful.

37. As a direct and proximate result of Cameos inadequate and/or deceptive security

measures, Cameos establishing, encouraging, or permitting use of the Security Bypass, and

Cameos failure to warn its patrons of the dangers created thereby, in breach of its duty to protect

its patrons, which were conceived, known and/or permitted by Rodgers, JRODG, and Kellogg,

weapons were allowed inside of Cameo on the evening of March 25, 2017 and/or the early morning

hours of March 26, 2017. Consequently, Spikes was shot, suffered bodily injury as well as mental

anguish and, ultimately, lost his life, leaving behind three young children and various other family

members, friends, and loved ones.

38. Plaintiff, as Administrator of Spikes estate, claims all actual and punitive damages

suffered as a result of Spikes death, as well as for pain and suffering and fear of impending death

that Spikes experienced prior to his death, in an amount to be determined at trial but in excess of

$25,000, together with court costs, attorney fees, and any further relief as the Court may deem

proper.

COUNT TWO: SURVIVORSHIP


MUNICIPAL LIABILITY FOR EMPLOYEE NEGLIGENCE
(City of Cincinnati)

39. Plaintiff incorporates all prior paragraphs as if fully rewritten herein.

40. The provision of off-duty police officers to serve as private security personnel is a

proprietary function of the City of Cincinnati.

41. R.C. 2744.02(B)(2) provides that, subject to certain exceptions that do not apply in

this matter, political subdivisions are liable for injury, death or loss to person or property caused

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by the negligent performance of acts by their employees with respect to proprietary functions of

the political subdivisions.

42. The Security Defendants were acting within the scope of their employment in a

proprietary function and under the direction of the City of Cincinnati while working a security

detail at Cameo on the night of March 25, 2017 and into the morning of March 26, 2017.

43. By working in a security detail capacity on the night of March 25, 2017 and into

the morning of March 26, 2017, the Security Defendants, and their employer the City of Cincinnati,

owed a duty to protect Cameos patrons from foreseeable harms.

44. The Security Defendants duty to protect their patrons from foreseeable harms

contemplates the criminal acts of third parties where the same is reasonably foreseeable.

45. The Security Defendants, and their employer the City of Cincinnati, breached their

duty to protect patrons, including Spikes, by negligently performing their duty to ensure that

weapons were not brought into Cameo.

46. Harm to Cameo patrons resulting from the Nightclub Defendants breach of their

duty to protect their patrons was foreseeable, because:

a. incidents of violence are foreseeable when weapons and alcohol are both present,
as is the precise reasoning behind laws prohibiting patrons from bringing weapons
into establishments that sell alcohol; and

b. similar acts of violence, including multiple shootings in 2015 and 2016 and a
stabbing earlier in March of 2017, have occurred at Cameo in the past, under the
ownership and operation of JRODG and Rodgers. See Police Reports attached as
Exhibits 4 through 7.

47. As a direct and proximate result of the Security Defendants negligence, weapons

were allowed inside of Cameo on the evening of March 25, 2017 and/or the early morning hours

of March 26, 2017. Consequently, Spikes was shot, suffered bodily injury as well as mental

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anguish and, ultimately, lost his life, leaving behind three young children and various other family

members, friends, and loved ones.

48. Plaintiff, as Administrator of Spikes estate, claims all actual and punitive damages

suffered as a result of Spikes death, as well as for pain and suffering and fear of impending death

that Spikes experienced prior to his death, in an amount to be determined at trial but in excess of

$25,000, together with court costs, attorney fees, and any further relief as the Court may deem

proper.

COUNT THREE: SURVIVORSHIP


SECURITY DEFENDANTS LIABILITY UNDER R.C. 2744.03(A)(6)(a)
(Security Defendants)

49. Plaintiff incorporates all prior paragraphs as if fully rewritten herein.

50. As an alternative to Count Two above, the acts and omissions of the Security

Defendants (Brian Brazile, David Dozier, Joehonny Reese, and Diondre Winstead) were done with

malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner, resulting in the injury and death

of Spikes.

51. On information and belief, the Security Defendants had worked the same or similar

details at Cameo on multiple occasions, were familiar with the security protocols, and with the

expectations of the job.

52. On information and belief, the Security Defendants knew or should have known of

the Security Bypass.

53. By working in a security detail capacity on the night of March 25,2017 and into the

morning of March 26, 2017, the Security Defendants owed a duty to protect Cameos patrons from

foreseeable harms.

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54. The Security Defendants duty to protect their patrons from foreseeable harms

contemplates the criminal acts of third parties where the same is reasonably foreseeable.

55. The Security Defendants breached their duty to protect patrons, including Spikes,

by turning a blind eye to the Security Bypass despite their knowledge of its use and the likelihood

of harm resulting from the Security Bypass.

56. The Security Defendants conduct on the night of March 25, 2017 and into the

morning of March 26, 2017, with respect to the Security Bypass, went beyond mere negligence

and was done either with a malicious purpose, in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner.

57. Harm to Cameo patrons resulting from the Nightclub Defendants malicious, bad

faith, wanton, or reckless conduct in breach of their duty to protect their patrons was foreseeable,

because:

a. incidents of violence are foreseeable when weapons and alcohol are both present,
as is the precise reasoning behind laws prohibiting patrons from bringing weapons
into establishments that sell alcohol; and

b. similar acts of violence, including multiple shootings in 2015 and 2016 and a
stabbing earlier in March of 2017, have occurred at Cameo in the past, under the
ownership and operation of JRODG and Rodgers. See Police Reports attached as
Exhibits 4 through 7.

58. As a direct and proximate result of the Security Defendants malicious, bad faith,

wanton, or reckless conduct, in breach of their duty to protect Cameos patrons, weapons were

allowed inside of Cameo on the evening of March 25, 2017 and into the early morning hours of

March 26, 2017. Consequently, Spikes was shot, suffered bodily injury as well as mental anguish

and, ultimately, lost his life, leaving behind three young children and various other family

members, friends, and loved ones.

59. Plaintiff, as Administrator of Spikes estate, claims all actual and punitive damages

suffered as a result of Spikes death, as well as for pain and suffering and fear of impending death

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that Spikes experienced prior to his death, in an amount to be determined at trial but in excess of

$25,000, together with court costs, attorney fees, and any further relief as the Court may deem

proper.

COUNT FOUR: SURVIVORSHIP - NEGLIGENCE PER SE


(Nightclub Defendants)

60. Plaintiff incorporates all prior paragraphs as if fully rewritten herein.

61. At all times relevant to this Complaint, Cameo was a holder of a D permit under

Chapter 4303 of the Ohio Revised Code and was subject to the applicable laws of the State of Ohio

and City of Cincinnati, and regulations promulgated therein.

62. At all relevant times, the Nightclub Defendants established and enforced the

Security Bypass policy and procedure as a means of secretly circumventing Cameos publicized

security procedures and R.C. 2923.121.

63. The Nightclub Defendants knew or should have known that the Security Bypass

would lead to the admission of armed patrons in violation of R.C. 2923.121, and were, therefore,

complicit with regard to the same.

64. The Nightclub Defendants knew or should have known that allowing armed patrons

into Cameo Nightclub created a risk of injury and death for its patrons, including Spikes.

65. The Nightclub Defendants breached their duty of care owed to patrons, including

Spikes, by failing to comply with the applicable laws and regulations set forth by the State of Ohio

and City of Cincinnati, including R.C. 2923.121.

66. The prohibitions against firearms within liquor establishments in directed at

protecting patrons against injury and death resulting from a lethal combination of alcohol and

firearms within liquor establishments (i.e. precisely what occurred on the night of March 25,

2017/morning of March 26, 2017).

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67. As a direct and proximate result of the aforesaid, Spikes suffered bodily injury,

resulting in pain and suffering, mental anguish, and ultimately the loss of his life.

68. Plaintiff, as Administrator of Spikes estate, claims all actual and punitive damages

suffered as a result of Spikes death, as well as for pain and suffering and fear of impending death

that Spikes experienced prior to his death, in an amount to be determined at trial but in excess of

$25,000, together with court costs, attorney fees, and any further relief as the Court may deem

proper.

COUNT FIVE: WRONGFUL DEATH (R.C. 2125.01, et seq.)


(All Defendants)

69. Plaintiff incorporates all prior paragraphs as if fully rewritten herein.

70. Spikes death was caused by the wrongful acts, neglect, and/or default of one or

more of the Defendants.

71. Spikes Next of Kin, which includes his three minor children, suffered damages for

loss of his services over the time he was expected to live.

72. Spikes Next of Kin, which includes his three minor children, suffered damages for

loss of his society over his life expectancy, including loss of companionship, consortium, care,

assistance, attention, protection, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training and education.

73. Spikes heirs at law at the time of his death, including his three minor children,

suffered damages for loss of prospective inheritance.

74. Spikes Next of Kin, including his three minor children, have suffered extreme grief

and mental anguish as a result of Spikes death.

75. Spikes Next of Kin have also incurred reasonable medical, funeral, and burial

expenses.

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76. The damages and losses asserted above are the direct and proximate result of the

actions of the Defendants.

77. Plaintiff, as Administrator of Spikes estate, claims all actual and punitive damages

suffered by Spikes Next of Kin as a result of Spikes death, in an amount to be determined at trial

but in excess of $25,000, together with court costs, attorney fees, and any further relief as the Court

may deem proper.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for Judgment in her favor and against Defendants, jointly

and severally, including:

A. Compensatory damages;

B. Punitive damages;

C. Court costs;

D. Attorneys fees;

E. All other relief the Court deems just and equitable.

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Bradley M. Gibson

___________________________
Christopher P. Finney (0038998)
Bradley M. Gibson (0087109)
Casey A. Taylor (0095966)
Finney Law Firm, LLC
4270 Ivy Pointe Blvd., Suite 225
Cincinnati, OH 45245
(513) 943-6655
(513) 943-6669 (fax)
Chris@FinneyLawFirm.com
Brad@FinneyLawFirm.com
Casey@FinneyLawFirm.com
Attorneys for Plaintiff

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JURY DEMAND

Plaintiff hereby demands a trial by jury of the within action.

/s/ Bradley M. Gibson


____________________________
Bradley M. Gibson (0087109)

PRAECIPE TO CLERK

Please serve the named Defendants, by certified mail, return receipt requested, at the above
listed addresses. If service of process by certified mail is returned by the postal authorities with an
endorsement of refused or unclaimed and if the certificate of mailing can be deemed complete
not less than five (5) days before any scheduled hearing, the undersigned waives notice of the
failure of service by the clerk and requests ordinary mail service in accordance with Civil Rue
4.6(C) or (D) and Civil Rule 4.6(E).

/s/ Bradley M. Gibson

Bradley M. Gibson (0087109)

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