Entire new jury needed in fatal brawl lawsuit
The wrongful-death civil trial over a 2005 fatal brawl in a McDonald's parking lot hit a stumbling block Tuesday when the judge dismissed the jury picked to hear the case. After attorneys had agreed on a six-member jury late Monday, lawyers on the plaintiff's side uncovered facts about three of the jurors, including old arrests the jurors did not list on their questionnaires. The revelation prompted Circuit Judge Susan Gardner to dismiss the entire group, and attorneys picked a new jury Tuesday afternoon. Opening arguments are slated for this morning. The case pits the parents of the man who died, 21-year-old Anthony Makowski, against the McDonald's franchisee and the owners of the shopping center where the restaurant sits on U.S. 41 in Land O'Lakes. Makowski got into a fight in the early hours of April 24, 2005, with Martin Robles-Taylor, who was in the car ahead of him at the McDonald's drive-through. Investigators determined Robles-Taylor, then 25, was defending himself when he put Makowski in a choke hold that killed him. Makowski's parents later sued Bob Brickman and B & B Cash Grocery Stores Inc., the restaurant and shopping center owners. Their suit alleges that the 24-hour drive-through should have been staffed with security. The case is expected to run through next Wednesday.
Pasco County Animal Control will remain open from noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays, but customer service will not be available that day via telephone. Customer service will not be available via telephone after 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Due to information provided by Animal Control, a story in Saturday's paper was incorrect on these points. Also, the $36 million the county expects to lose next budget year is primarily from decreasing property values, plus anticipated drops in sales tax revenue, interest-bearing accounts and other sources of funding.
Detailed obituaries are published in Section B.