A Waco attorney named Hamilton Lindley filed a lawsuit late last Thursday against Twin Peaks Restaurants and the owners of the Twin Peaks franchise in Waco for injuries and distress caused during the Twin Peaks Massacre last May 17. The plaintiffs, who are only identified as Texas residents M.K.H. and C.R.H., are seeking “monetary relief between $500,000 and $1 million.”
The suit cites as “facts:”
“In defiance of repeated law enforcement warnings, Twin Peaks invited rival biker gangs to its Waco restaurant on May 17, 2015. Predictably, these rival gangs—fueled by Twin Peaks’ alcohol—began fighting. Nine people were killed and more than 18 were injured as a result of the gross negligence of Defendants. Police recovered more than 300 weapons from the scene, including more than 100 pistols and an AK-47.”
“Plaintiffs—who are unaffiliated with any biker club—were having lunch inside Twin Peaks at the time the shootout began. When bullets began flying, Plaintiffs were trapped inside Defendants’ property and forced to find cover to avoid being shot. Plaintiffs suffered personal injuries including cuts, bruises and abrasions. Plaintiffs also suffered damage to their personal property and significant emotional trauma.”
“The May 17 biker gang shootout was the crescendo to a symphony of violence at Twin Peaks. Starting on August 31, 2014, two disturbances were reported by Waco Police at Twin Peaks in Waco. On February 2, 2015 and February 15, 2015, disturbances again occurred at Waco’s Twin Peaks. On May 1, 2015, the Texas Department of Public Safety issued a warning of conflict between rival motorcycle gangs—the same gangs that Twin Peaks reserved space for at its Waco location. Police warned Twin Peaks—in both Waco and Dallas—about the May 17 biker reservation three days before the shootout. Twin Peaks ignored law enforcement’s concern. On the morning of May 17, concerned Waco Police arrived at Twin Peaks to protect patrons. But they were asked to leave the Waco location by management. Despite being awash in violent events and direct warnings by law enforcement, Twin Peaks proceeded to have this biker gathering, with a reservation for 300 people.”
Three Other Suits
The latest suit raises the possibility that Lindley may have uncovered previously unpublicized details about the prelude to the Massacre. For example, the two police calls on August 31, 2014 were described by police with the code “1015,” which usually is the “ten code” for a “civil disturbance.” Until now, those two police calls have seemed independent of any biker club disturbance. The February 2 incident appears to have been a traffic accident. The February 15 incident was described by police as a “1016,” which is usually code for a “domestic problem.”
Three previous lawsuits have been filed as a result of the Massacre: One of those pits the owners of the neighboring Don Carlos restaurant franchise against the Twin Peaks franchisor; a second is the dispute between the Twin Peaks franchisor and the franchisee; and the third is the dispute between the survivors of Jesus Delgado Rodriguez and the Twin Peaks franchisor and the franchisee.
There is some dispute in all three of those suits about who the Waco Police notified that the biker gathering on May 17 was potentially dangerous, the urgency with which that warning was given and when the warning was made. On August 11, a Dallas court ruled that the three lawsuits then filed were related and would be tried together.