TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Relatives of a man who died after a fight outside a Tampa gentleman's club filed suit against the business for wrongful death, arguing his death could have been prevented had the club had more trained security guards.
The family of 32-year-old Edward Taylor says he was a loving father to his 10-year-old daughter, Harmony. His life was cut short in a parking lot in the early morning hours of Jan. 3 when 36-year-old Ismael Ocasio punched Taylor in the face, according to police.
First responders tried to revive him, but he was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
"He was always happy," Taylor's mom, Vanessa Ross-Taylor said. "He said he would always live his life as if it was the last day."
The fight happened outside the Envy gentlemen's club, on West Kennedy Boulevard near Himes Avenue. Taylor, who suffered from lupus, was incapable of forming a fist and wasn't unable to defend himself, according to his family.
Their attorney says the fight started with a dispute inside the club.
Greg Francis says the confrontation would not have happened if the club had enough properly-trained security guards, which is why the family is now suing for wrongful death. They filed the 6-page lawsuit in Hillsborough County Circuit Court Wednesday, alleging negligence.
"You have to ensure that they are going to have safe passing to their vehicles and on their exit as well from an establishment such as this. It is our position that had their been security outside it could have defused the situation," Francis said.
Taylor's family said they are determined to get justice so other families never have to experience the same pain.
"He was a human being and deserved better. Had they had security, I think my son would still be here right now with us," Ross-Taylor said.
The family's attorney says the next step will be a deposition with the club's manager and owner, which is expected to happen before the end of the year.
As for Ocasio, he was charged with manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon.
Surveillance cameras from a nearby Papa John's captured the fight, but that video has not been made public.
FOX 13 reached out to Envy, but they say they have no comment at this time.