Man claims poor security led to shooting at yacht club

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jan. 23, 2012, 10:00am

GALVESTON - Alleging a security breach at a Galveston yacht basin allowed someone to attack him two years ago, James P. Dillmon Jr. has filed a lawsuit.

In a lawsuit filed Jan. 5 in Galveston County District Court, Dillmon blames The Sealy & Smith Foundation for a hole in the fence line at the Galveston Yacht Club which enabled a man named Gregory Lee to approach and shoot him on Jan. 11, 2010, as he was performing maintenance work on his sailboat.

Recent court documents show Dillmon and The Sealy & Smith Foundation had a contract in which the plaintiff paid the respondent a monthly fee to store his vessel at The Yacht Club's storage lot.

"The plaintiff stored his boat at the defendant's storage lot in reliance on security provided on the premises, including, but not limited to, security guards and a chain link security fence with three rows of barbed wire affixed to the top," the original petition says.

"However, on the date in question, a portion of the fence on the west side of the storage lot was broken, creating an opening in the fence line."

Dillmon further explains that Lee, who is not a defendant in the case, went through the subject opening, came up to him and shot him with a Reck P8 6.35-mm handgun.

"One of the bullets struck the plaintiff in the stomach, causing him to suffer severe personal injuries," the suit says.

Police subsequently arrived at the scene to watch the presumed gunman sit down on the ground in the middle of the lot and shoot himself in the head, according to the suit.

Dillmon insists the defendant failed to warn him about the supposedly unrepaired opening.

He consequently seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Midani, Hinkle & Cole LLP is representing Dillmon.

Galveston County 10th District Court Judge David Garner is presiding over the case.

Case No. 12-cv-0011

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