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Widow Files Wrongful-Death Suit After Husband Killed In Tavern Fight
Updated September 4, 2014 7:15 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(SULLIVAN CO.) - James Gardner, the man who attacked and killed 51-year-old Richard Pigg and the tavern where the fight occurred are being sued by Pigg's widow.

The suit was filed in Sullivan Circuit Court by Sarah Pigg, who claims the Uptown Tavern failed to properly provide security and that contributed to her husband's death in the altercation with 26-year-old Gardner.

Gardner pleaded guilty, on Jan. 18, 2013, to involuntary manslaughter. He is serving an eight year sentence at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. His earliest release date is Feb. 11, 2017.

According to court records on Sept. 1, 2012 around 1:30 a.m. Gardner had been harassing Richard Pigg at the tavern. And there was a verbal altercation between the two men. That is when Gardner punched Pigg in the side of the face, knocking him unconscious, causing him to fall to the floor.

Pigg was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, where he died from his injuries.

An autopsy revealed Pigg died of blunt force trauma to the head.

In Sarah Piggs' complaint she claims, Gardner had a reputation for being violent in the Dugger community and that the owner and employees of Uptown Tavern knew about Gardner's temper and had a duty to protect her husband.

Karen Bedwell has also filed a wrongful-death suit against Uptown Tavern.

That case was filed after her husband 47-year-old Jeffrey Bedwell was killed after he was struck by a northbound Indiana Rail Road Company train on August 5, 2012. Bedwell's blood-alcohol content was near .24.

At the time of the incident the bartender told police that Bedwell had left out the back door of the tavern. The railroad conductor says they sounded the train horn as they entered town and that is when he noticed Bedwell sitting on the side of the westbound rail with his feet to the outside. The conductor then went into an emergency stop procedure.

But the train struck Bedwell and his body was found just yards off the tracks near the tavern.

Bedwell suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

In Karen Bedwell's suit she names bartender Leslie D. Chapman, the tavern and owner Barbara Kendall. Karen Bedwell claims the tavern and bartender breached their duty when they continued to serve her husband, knowing he was intoxicated and because of that negligence her husband was killed.

In each suit, the widows are seeking judgment in an "amount commensurate with the damages sustained by the Estate(s) of" their late husbands.

The plaintiff's attorney in each case is Frederick N. Hadley.

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