The opinion of the court was delivered by: Anita B. Brody, J.
Plaintiff Tyheem Baker brings this negligence action against Defendants Solo Nightclub, LLC, Lloyd Tran, Tam Tran, Clear Channel Communications, Inc., WUSL Power 99, Dwight Grant, Spring Del Associates, L.P., and SDAGP, Inc. I exercise jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332.
Baker brings this suit in search of compensation for the injuries he sustained as a result of being shot by an unknown assailant while inside Solo Nightclub, LLC ("Club Solo"). Club Solo was owned and/or managed and operated by Lloyd Tran and Tam Tran. Spring Del Associates, L.P. and SDAGP, Inc. own the premises on which Club Solo was located. On the night of the shooting Club Solo was hosting the birthday party of Dwight Grant a/k/a Beanie Siegel ("Beanie Sigel party"). Prior to the event, Clear Channel Communications, Inc. advertised the Beanie Sigel party on its radio station, WUSL Power 99. Additionally, WUSL Power 99 conducted a live broadcast from Club Solo on the night of the shooting.
Currently before me are three separate motions for summary judgment: a motion of Defendants Solo Nightclub, LLC, Lloyd Tran, and Tam Tran (collectively, "Solo Nightclub Defendants"); a motion of Defendants Clear Channel Communications, Inc. and WUSL Power 99 (collectively, "Clear Channel Defendants"); and a motion of Defendants Spring Del Associates, L.P. and SDAGP, Inc. (collectively, "Spring Del Defendants").*fn1 For the reasons set forth below, I will grant the summary judgment motions of Clear Channel Defendants and Spring Del Defendants, and I will grant in part and deny in part the summary judgment motion of Solo Nightclub Defendants.
On March 6, 2009, Plaintiff Tyheem Baker decided to head into Philadelphia from New Jersey for a night out. Deposition of Tyheem Baker ("Baker Dep.") 56:17-58:12. Before leaving New Jersey, Baker received a call from a friend inviting him to Club Solo. Id. Baker was initially skeptical about going to Club Solo. Id. at 58:5-12. However, after he heard on the radio station WUSL Power 99 that Club Solo would be hosting the Beanie Sigel party, he decided to go there. Baker Dep. 58:5-12; Deposition of Stacey Thomas ("Thomas Dep.") 8:25-9:9.
Club Solo was owned and operated by Solo Nightclub Defendants.*fn3 Club Solo was located at 520 N. Christopher Columbus Boulevard at the intersection of Christopher Columbus Boulevard and Spring Garden Street. There were approximately 500-600 people in attendance at the Beanie Sigel party. Thomas Dep. 59:21-23. At a prior Beanie Sigel party in 2008, there had been approximately 2,200 people in attendance. Pl.'s Resp. to Solo Nightclub Defendant's Motion ("Pl.'s Resp.") Ex. 7.
Baker arrived at Club Solo a little before 11:00 p.m. on March 6, 2009. Baker Dep. 186:8-10. Baker had to wait in line to enter the club. Id. at 68:2-4. While Baker was waiting in line, a security guard used a metal detector wand to search Baker and check his ID. Id. at 69:16-19, 73:23-74:2. When Baker reached the entrance of Club Solo, he paid his entrance fee and was patted down by another security guard. Id. at 69:16-19, 73:12-15.
All of the security guards were clearly identifiable because the word "Security" was printed on their shirts. Id. at 72:8-20. Baker observed that both the women and men near him were being searched by the security guards. Id. at 71:19-72:1. However, he also noticed that DJ Khaled,*fn4 and a group of guys who were with him, entered the club without being searched. Id. at 70:17-71:15. While in the club, Baker observed four security guards in the lower part of the club, and three security guards near the stage. Id. at 228:5-7.
At approximately 1:35 a.m. on March 7, 2009, Baker was shot inside Club Solo. Id. at 174:6-12. Baker was unable to identify the shooter, and the incident was not recorded because the video camera surveillance inside Club Solo was not working. Id. at Ex. 4.
Prior to the shooting inside Club Solo, there had been several other violent events or threats of violence that occurred on Club Solo's premises:
On August 20, 2007, police were called to break up a fight inside the club. Pl.'s Resp. Ex. 7.
On January 21, 2008, Club Solo contacted the police because a man was causing a disturbance in front of the club. When police came, the man told police, "[I]f I see you cops again I'll kill both of you." Id.
On October 24, 2008, a large fight broke out in front of the club and caused additional fights to occur throughout the Club Solo parking lot. According to the police officer on the scene, "The public and police were put at risk due to the large fights." Id.
On February 29, 2009, a man in the Club Solo parking lot fired several gunshots from his car. Solo Nightclub Defendant's Motion ("Solo Nightclub Mot.") Ex. D at 5. Additionally, the following violent events or threats of violence occurred within a one block radius of Club Solo during its operation:
On September 17, 2007, a man was observed near Club Solo with a gun in his lap. Pl.'s Resp. Ex. 3, 7.
On May 3, 2008, a man walking from Club Solo was shot at 500 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd. Pl.'s Resp. Ex. 7.
On June 21, 2008, a man was observed firing a gun into the air at 76 E. Spring Garden Street. Id.
On August 18, 2008, several men were shot at 100 Spring Garden Street. Id.
Based on the numerous incidents of criminal and disorderly conduct that had occurred in and around Club Solo, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ("Commonwealth") filed a civil complaint against Defendants Club Solo and Tam Tran on November 20, 2008. Pl.'s Resp. Ex.
3. In the Complaint, the Commonwealth sought to enjoin Club Solo from operating for one year and requested that the court order Club Solo to surrender its liquor license. Id. To support its Complaint, the Commonwealth listed numerous disruptive and violent events that had occurred on and around Club Solo's premises and required police intervention. Id.
C. Defendants' Connection to the Shooting
Although Club Solo was owned and operated by Solo Nightclub Defendants, the building and property on which Club Solo was located was owned by Spring Del Defendants. On or about April 4, 2006, Spring Del Defendants leased the premises to JP Entertainment LLC.*fn5
Spring Del Defendants' Motion ("Spring Del Mot.") Ex. B. On March 9, 2007, JP Entertainment LLC assigned the lease to Solo Nightclub Defendants. Spring Del Mot. Ex. C. The lease granted Solo Nightclub Defendants the right to operate the premises as a restaurant, bar, and club with live entertainment. Spring Del Mot. Ex. B at 1.6. Solo Nightclub Defendants "operated ...