Gay man sues Tavern on Camac for ‘catastrophic’ fall

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A former patron of Tavern on Camac is suing the popular LGBT venue for a “catastrophic” fall he suffered while inside the establishment two years ago.

On Oct. 29, 2017, Kevin Sullivan suffered debilitating head injuries after falling down a stairway inside Tavern on Camac, 243 S. Camac St., in the Gayborhood.

“While walking down the stairway, Kevin Sullivan violently fell, striking his head on the hard tile, vestibule, entryway floor, suffering a resultant traumatic brain injury,” according to a 52-page complaint filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court last month. 

Sullivan’s fall was captured on surveillance video, according to court records.

“As a result of this incident, [Sullivan] was caused to sustain catastrophic, permanent, and debilitating injuries,” the complaint alleges. The injuries suffered by Sullivan include “a subdural hematoma and intracranial hemorrhage,” which required part of his skull to be removed to relieve pressure on the brain. Sullivan also suffered “cognitive deficiencies, chronic pain and other neurological, cognitive and psychological injuries, all of which are permanent and limit his ability to engage in life activities.”

According to the complaint, Sullivan, 42, suffered significant lost wages. He also experienced ongoing seizures and “agonizing aches, pains and mental anguish.” He’s been required to undergo medical treatment and surgeries and continues to take medications as a result of the incident. “He has sustained other emotional, neurologic, cognitive and orthopedic injuries, the full extent of which have yet to be determined,” according to the complaint.

Sullivan has expended significant amounts of money for his medical care and is expected to do so in the future, the complaint adds. 

The complaint specifically cites Tavern on Camac for “failing to provide reasonable and/or adequate crowd control, despite the fact that the evening in question was a Halloween event, during which [Tavern on Camac] knew, or should have known, there would be increased crowds.”

Also named as defendants are the former ICandy establishment, where Sullivan allegedly was served alcohol while visibly intoxicated prior to entering Tavern on Camac; Main Line Security, a security firm that allegedly permitted Sullivan to enter Tavern on Camac though he was visibly intoxicated; and SMP Architects, an architectural firm that allegedly failed to properly evaluate the safety of the stairway.

The lawsuit specifically cites Main Line Security for “failing to provide appropriate and timely assistance to [Sullivan] after he fell and failing to request emergency medical response to assist Kevin Sullivan.”

An answer to the complaint filed on behalf of ICandy denied any wrongdoing. “It is denied that [Sullivan] was served alcoholic beverages while visibly intoxicated at I Candy,” the response states. Answers to the complaint by Main Line Security and SMP Architects weren’t filed, as of presstime. None of the parties had a comment for this story.

Sullivan is suing for more than $200,000 in damages. A jury trial is tentatively scheduled for 10 a.m. March 1, 2021, in Courtroom 285 of City Hall, with Common Pleas Judge Dan Anders presiding.