Man Wounded in California Synagogue Shooting Sues for Breaching ‘Duty of Reasonable Care’

FILE – In this Monday, April 29, 2019, file photo, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, right, comforts Almog Peretz, center, as they attend the funeral for Lori Kaye, who was killed Saturday when a gunman opened fire inside the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, Calif. Goldstein lost a finger in the shooting, and Peretz was also injured. Peretz, who was wounded in the shooting at the synagogue is suing the house of worship, alleging Chabad of Poway didn’t use federal funds meant to hire security to protect worshipers. In the lawsuit obtained by Los Angeles Times, Peretz claims the synagogue did not have proper security despite a rise in anti-Semitic attacks nationally and that it did not use a $150,000 grant to upgrade safety measures. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

When a 19-year-old man opened fire during a Passover service at Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, California in April, he was met by return fire from an off-duty US Border Patrol agent, Jonathan Morales.

Morales was reportedly encouraged to attend the service while armed by the synagogue’s rabbi to provide added security and is credited with saving lives that day.

But now, one of the people wounded during the attack, Almog Peretz, has sued the synagogue. The synagogue had received a federal grant of $150,000 to beef up the house of worship’s security. The funds were received about a month before the shooting, but no enhanced security measures had been implemented when the shooting took place.

In addition to the synagogue, the lawsuit names the shooter, San Diego Guns which sold the gun to the shooter, and the national Chabad organization.

Here’s the AP’s report . . .

By Martha Bellisle, Associated press

A man wounded in a shooting at a San Diego-area synagogue is suing the house of worship, alleging Chabad of Poway didn’t use federal funds meant to hire security to protect worshipers, according to a newspaper report.

In the lawsuit obtained by Los Angeles Times, Almog Peretz claims the synagogue did not have proper security despite a rise in anti-Semitic attacks nationally and that it did not use a $150,000 grant to upgrade safety measures.

Officials at Chabad of Poway did not immediately respond to a request from the Times seeking comment on the lawsuit.

Prosecutors have charged John Timothy Earnest with one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder in the April 27 attack at Chabad of Poway.

According to court documents, Earnest — 19 at the time — walked into the synagogue on the last day of Passover, a Jewish holiday, and opened fire. Surveillance video of the lobby of the Chabad shows a man firing an assault-style rifle from just outside the front door, hitting Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, as she turned to run. She died at the doors to the sanctuary after being shot twice, according to a San Diego County deputy medical examiner.

Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein was the next person shot. Goldstein was wounded in both hands and lost the index finger on his right hand in the shooting.

San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Leonard Trinh said Earnest then turned toward a room where several people, including children, were inside and fired his weapon. Among those in the room were Peretz, 34, who was shot in the leg, and his 8-year-old niece, Noya Dahan, who was struck in her face and leg by bullet fragments.

In filing the lawsuit, Peretz said the synagogue breached its “duty of reasonable care” in protecting congregants, the Times said in its story Friday.

Chabad of Poway received $150,000 from the government in March because the synagogue “believed that it was at risk of an anti-Semitic attack on its congregants,” according to the suit. But on the day of the attack, court documents show, the building’s doors were unlocked and no guards, gates or other security measures were in place.

Peretz’s attorney, Yoni Weinberg, said his client may be perceived negatively for including the synagogue in the lawsuit, but he said it’s important to name everyone who may be at fault in the fatal attack.

“If we were only to have John Earnest in the lawsuit, changes would never get made,” Weinberg said. “Hopefully this pressure … influences them to make a change to protect their congregants and it influences other synagogues as well.”

comments

  1. avatar J Gibbons says:

    The synagogue should have had plans drafted and the start of processes to utilize the funds. It can take longer than a month to get construction permits, hire contractors, hire or recruit security guards (especially with CA’s guard card requirements), etc. In all likelihood, even with the best of timing, little would have been accomplished between the grant being issued in March and attack in April. But, there should have been plans in motion to demonstrate that actions are underway.

    1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      +1 Exactly what I was going to say.

      As part of a security detail myself, I can attest that it takes a fair amount of time to draft, finalize, document, implement, and fine tune any plans. I imagine the funding application process itself took some time, so the synagogue should have started its planning way back at the time of application to the government.

      Which begs the question…before handing over $150K, would a plan proposal be required as part of the submission process?

      1. avatar George from Alaska says:

        Yes, always.

        1. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          I forgot to add the [/sarc] tag at the end. Of *course* it would be required, which begs the next question:

          Why didn’t the synagogue immediately implement its procedures? The rabbi apparently knew something had to be done, which is why he asked the off-duty LEA to attend that day.

      2. avatar Rick Hess says:

        Not only proposed but approved by the granting authority prior to release of funds. Then comes the fun part, implementation which could take months. Add local gov’t red tape and that makes things even longer.

      3. avatar Rad Man says:

        Agreed, the voluntary assumption of the duty of due care, it can be argued, is not undertaken till security measures are implemented. Till then, YOYO.

      4. avatar Roymond says:

        I earned money one summer while in college by going to the county records department and copying out all permits applied for that fit a certain set of parameters. I learned that time from submitting an application to approval for modifications to building entrance/access could take anywhere from ten days to six weeks.

  2. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    USA: Welcome to America.
    Achmed the dead terrorist: “Silence I sue you!”

    I blame whoever passed the laws making the place of worship a GFZ. Not the gun or the gun store.

    1. avatar MEDIC says:

      Well, since he was 19, I’d assume San Diego Guns is having their FFL reviewed or has shut down (unless he used a fake ID and somehow passed a background check anyway- in CA, I’m doubtful he could have, but who knows). I’ll be searching after I finish here.

      Federal gov says no pistols before 21, so it isn’t just CA who will go after the gun shop.

      1. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

        Nevermind on my comment below didn’t know the shooters age and that would raise further questions.

        1. avatar MEDIC says:

          Oops. It was an AR-15, not a pistol (I don’t know where I got that). They are going after the gun shop because he didn’t have a hunting license, not because of age issues (or at least state authorities were)

          So, back to the original statement, including the gun shop is BS.

        2. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

          Coffee is about done on my end so no worries, wouldn’t be surprised if there are 21 age requirements for ‘assault weapons’ in some state’s.

        3. avatar jwm says:

          Medic. I’m a licensed hunter and gun owner in CA. I was not aware that having a hunting license was a requirement to buy a long gun in CA.

        4. avatar I Haz A Question says:

          Apparently it is, now, if you’re under 21, unless I’m widely mistaken about our new law.

    2. avatar SAFEupstateFML says:

      Unless the shooter was a prohibited person lawful commerce should about cover the store….. unless something silly happened recently.

      1. avatar JR Pollock says:

        Something silly happening in California???? The silliness is non stop out there!

    3. avatar GunnyGene says:

      Ahhhh! I love that skit!! 🙂

  3. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    I was onboard with the suit until this: “…In addition to the synagogue, the lawsuit names the shooter, San Diego Guns which sold the gun to the shooter, and the national Chabad organization.”

    And this: “…alleging Chabad of Poway didn’t use federal funds…”

    I foolishly thought that the injured party was trying to instigate change. Instead, he’s just looking for deep pockets while strumming the ol’ gunz iz bad guitar. He did manage to “forget” that carry permits in SD County are basically not available, otherwise he could have sued the SDSO, too.

    What a putz. Thanks for nothing.

  4. avatar Ruff says:

    Since they are going after gun stores or any transfers maybe a contract between anyone transferring or selling a firearm needs to be drawn up that states that the firearm will not be used in the commission of any crime and that if such should occur the responsibility is the responsibility of the buyer. It’s done with other sales, why not for gun shops?

    1. avatar Rick the Bear says:

      “…states that the firearm will not be used in the commission of any crime…”

      “Cause someone who would commit murder would never lie on such a form.

      1. avatar Ruff says:

        It’s a contract. Break the contract and everything else is null and void. So what’s your suggestion? How do you add more legal protection? Surely there is a reason why everything else that is done is covered by additional legal protections that you sign off for. Whenever I’m told that this call can be monitored and recorded, I tell them alright and go ahead and record the call because they just stated so. Got it?

        1. avatar FiftycalTX says:

          Wouldn’t a pinky swear be just as effective?

        2. avatar LarryinTX says:

          More protection is available by simply repealing all gun control laws. I repeat, “all”.

        3. avatar anonymous4goodreason says:

          Well, they could just ask: Do you intend to use this firearm in the commission of a crime? on the 4473. Then if the buyer kills someone with it they can quickly plea down the murder charge to lying on the 4473 and get the criminals back on the street faster. That being the left’s goal an all…

        4. avatar Anymouse says:

          Contracts have benefits for both parties. What is the penalty for violating the provision against illegal usage? Does the criminal need to return the gun and get a partial or full refund? What does the buyer gain in exchange for giving up rights for an item he owns? Normally, post purchase contracts involve continued relationships regarding service, support, and warranty. Such as, if you open the case, you void the warranty. Gun shops don’t continue the relationship beyond the sale

      2. avatar Ed Schrade says:

        Was wondering about the hunting permit. Do you have to have a hunting license and special tags to shoot up a synagogue ?

        1. avatar Rick the Bear says:

          Ed,

          May I guess that this was your attempt at humor?

          If so, you have a ways to go toward success.

  5. avatar American Patriot says:

    They might as well include all the names of the State Legislature in the suit as well. Assault style weapon….Stop speaking liberal, assault is an action the weapon was a rifle!

    1. avatar Ruff says:

      In case someone has the intent they have some recourse in the legal system. I’m not a liberal and I’m not a lawyer. Everything these days is predicated by contract laws. Maybe Remington or any one else needs better legal protection. Surely someone with the legal expertise would know how to get it done. Arming up legally is simply adding a layer of protection. like improving how your firearm is outfitted. Working harder is not working smarter.

      1. avatar Anymouse says:

        Assault weapon legally means something in California. Either a gun meets that definition (too many EVIL features, like bayonet lugs) and is bound by the restrictions, or it doesn’t. “Assault style” is insignificant. It says it’s a legal gun without the restrictions of guns it looks similar to.

  6. avatar Ogre says:

    It looks like some ambulance-chasing lawyer saw an opportunity here and convinced the injured party that he was due for a BIG payday. Not to mention what the lawyer will make no matter if he wins the case or not.

  7. avatar Dana Larkin says:

    The one most responsible for Almog Peretz‘s safety and security that day is named in the suit, unfortunately, as the plaintiff.

    1. avatar Perry says:

      The Aurora theater was sued by a customer. The theater posted “no guns” signs. Yup, it was another of those 92%? 97%? of mass shootings that occur in gun-free zones.

      The customer lost the case. The theater owner was not liable for customers’ safety. You’re On Your Own.

      Californy is in a different Curious Court than Colorado, so YMMV.

  8. avatar former water walker says:

    HOW the he!! does a synagogue(a private organization) get federal funds for security?!? This is a silly suit…oy vey!

    1. avatar Perry says:

      My local church has a security team, and I’d like to have some of that subsidy. It would at least pay for security cameras and ammo for qualifying on the Peace Officers’ Shooting Test.

    2. avatar Big Bill says:

      Not really sure, but I can come up with a possible answer: The War On Terror.
      Money for that War flows freely.

  9. avatar Macbaldwin says:

    Wait… what??? Places of worship qualify for federal grants???? I thought churches were tax exempt. That’s not enough to run a safe environment? As a non-church going tax payer I hope the rest of you are enjoying your luxuries on my dime. Your welcome?

      1. avatar Ton E says:

        That ruling was garbage.

  10. avatar jeff says:

    This is a deep pockets law suit. Nothing more and nothing less. The plaintiff has included anyone and everyone who might have insurance that would pay off the lawsuit before it goes to court. Maybe next time a vehicle hits my car I will sue the dealership and car manufacturer.

    1. avatar Kendahl says:

      It’s been tried with varying success.

      A teenager worked for a GM dealership washing cars. He used his earnings to buy a used Firebird. One night he was out with a buddy and wrecked the car at over 100 mph. He survived but the buddy didn’t. The buddy’s parents sued him and his family, the car dealer (claiming that they should have known not to sell him the car), and GM for making such a car. GM settled out of court. (In my opinion, they did so to avoid a precedent which would apply to future crashes.)

      Another two guys were out in a Fiat X1/9. The driver rolled the car turning his passenger into a quadriplegic. The passenger’s family sued Fiat claiming that the X1/9 was an inherently dangerous vehicle. (Actually, if there’s anything to criticize, it’s that the car handles so well that, by the time you lose control, you’re going fast enough to really hurt youself.)

      A grandmother had her kindergarten age grandson in the front passenger seat of her Chrysler minivan without benefit of a child seat or even a seat belt. She t-boned another car that ran a red light. The air bag turned the kid into a quadriplegic. The family sued Chrysler claiming that the design of the air bag was faulty. (This was long enough ago that grandma wasn’t required to have the kid in a child seat.)

      The X1/9 and Chrysler minivan suits probably went nowhere because both occurred in Nebraska where people generally have little sympathy for stupidity.

      On an icy morning in Texas six years ago, a family in a pickup lost control on the interstate and crossed the median into the path of a Werner Trucking 18-wheeler. One child died in the resulting crash and another suffered “catastrophic” brain injuries. The Werner truck was traveling well below the speed limit and never lost control even during the accident. Nevertheless, a Texas jury awarded the family $90 million. The argument was that Werner was at fault simply for being there.

      I’m surprised that businesses outside the firearms industry aren’t paying attention to the suits against gun manufacturers and dealers. The direction things are going is that the manufacturer or dealer is automatically at fault when an idiot finds a way to harm himself using their product. That the idiot egregiously misused the product is no longer a defense.

  11. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    It’s a good question to ask why any group who asks for and receives government funds has no plans in writing to use the money???
    No ruff draft?
    No list of training classes for security personnel?
    No security specialist asked to review the security needs of the house of worship? Which would have provided a list of items for the synagogue to try and get accomplished.

    As a christian I don’t believe the government or the church leadership will protect me. Why do Liberal Jews think the opposite? As a member of the JPFO I already know what they think about the 2A.

    1. avatar Rick the Bear says:

      Chris T: “Why do Liberal Jews think the opposite?”

      Puzzles the fu¢k out of me!

      (I’m a pro-gun, gun toting Jew!!)

    2. avatar Chris T in KY says:

      Also.
      It’s interesting how only a jewish person is suing his own house of worship. Of all the churches that have been attacked no one has sued their own church. If I’m wrong send me link.

      1. avatar former water walker says:

        I “believe” the massacred Baptist church survivors in Sutherland,Texas are suing the tiny church for lack of security.

        1. avatar pete says:

          When I go into a public place I know that my security and safety relies on only one thing,,,,ME,,,,. I have carried the same M9 for about 50 years and have no plans to change that. Gun Free Zone only provides their people there with a false sense of security, and remember that most of the shootings happen in gun free zones.
          So put up your signs and posters, It won’t change me..

        2. avatar Perry says:

          @pete

          Run silent. Run deep, sir.

          The government has no duty to protect us. SCOTUS has said so. We’re on our own.

  12. avatar Robert Messmer says:

    Quote: “HOW the he!! does a synagogue(a private organization) get federal funds for security?!? This is a silly suit…oy vey!” Indeed. Almost makes one think there is no such thing as separation of church and state. He forgot to sue the gun manufacturer as well. Probably should have included his parents for not teaching him to take care of himself.

    1. avatar Alan says:

      Opens with a most interesting question.

  13. avatar Alan says:

    I expect that the synagogue could have taken some steps within the time period mentioned, one month, though they would likely have been preliminary. Meantime, it appears that they had done nothing, if my understanding of the article, and the article itself is correct. How come? That aside, if the selling gun shop had followed all requirements pursuant to the sale of a semiautomatic rifle, it would appear that they are in the clear.

  14. avatar GS650G says:

    I guess suing the dead guy or his family wasn’t an economical viable proposition

  15. avatar NORDNEG says:

    Ambulance chaser put him up to this, …sick.!

  16. avatar GunnyGene says:

    How about this? Get rid of all the laws, regulations, policies, and other BS that prevents people from defending themselves? Or is that too simple?

    1. avatar GunnyGene says:

      Oh wait. Forget it. There’s no money or glory in that for the “authorities” or the stinking lawyers.

  17. avatar Bill says:

    Why did the taxpayers give this synagogue $150,000? Protecting themselves is their own responsibility and no one else but them should be paying for it. If they’re uncomfortable they need to hire armed guards with their own money, and beef up their physical security with their own money.

    1. avatar Anymouse says:

      Probably a grant from Homeland Security to harden soft targets. Any large enough place of worship or gathering place would be eligible, but few would know about it, and fewer would take the time to prepare a submission and follow it through the process.

  18. avatar Mike B. says:

    Although I attend church several times weekly I do not believe that any government body should provide funds for security at religious institutions. I don’t think the government should provide funds for security at any private location. At my church the members provide security.

  19. avatar Silentbrick says:

    So, would the plaintiff be happy if a private SWAT team strip searched and cavity searched him every time he went into the temple?

    1. avatar B.D. says:

      That’s a big no.

      Either way, they just don’t want to pay for whatever it is.

  20. avatar Pete says:

    Since this is California, where it takes over two years to get the permits to open an ice cream chop, not surprised that no security measures had been implemented.

  21. avatar Troubled Soul says:

    How about he assumes some responsibility for himself.
    Maybe he should have armed himself?
    Why are you relying on someone else to do what you should be doing for yourself

  22. avatar neiowa says:

    No one else wondering why the hell the FEDs are passing out “security” grant $ to private organizations. Sounds like breaking down the 1st line between church and state.

    1. avatar B.D. says:

      So… accurate for our governments private “civilian” agencies.

      They should all be shut down. FBI, ATF, CIA etc etc. They are all straight out of the Nazi handbooks.

  23. avatar Ike says:

    Just a note from the South…
    I can safely say that most Churches here have volenteer security, congregants who have concealed carry permits, we secure the parking lots, and all entrences. Proactive security, in coordination with local law enforcement, is free to the church and very effective.

  24. avatar TheTruthBurns says:

    Need I state the Obvious: Jesus knocked over the money changers tables Inside The Temple because Hey it’s All about Money. Go ahead Hymie Sue – Oy Vey Meshugganah!

    1. avatar Rick the Bear says:

      TheTruthBurn:

      Your “burn” isn’t hot enough to warm a muffin.

      Keep your bigotry up your a$$ where it belongs.

      Thanks so much.

      1. avatar SF says:

        Google the USS Liberty, Talpiot 8200, the Apollo affair. Guess who runs the media, the four biggest banks including the federal reserve, half the supreme court, and hollywood. Thats right! Gods chosen people! You know what they say: duel citizenship, duel loyalty

        1. avatar Rick the Bear says:

          SF:

          Wow. What a brilliant reply. You certainly put me in my place.

          To borrow from Sally Brown in the “Charlie Brown Christmas Special”: if Jews run the world, I just want my share. I’m still waiting.

          Oh, and I believe that the word you’re looking for is “dual” which denotes two. “Duel” is prearranged combat. Glad that the all-powerful Jew could help. 8>)

          You and TheTruthBurns make quite a duo.

        2. avatar B.D. says:

          So… the proud Jew who just has to let everyone know about how innocent his religion is and how wrong everyone else is about everything… is also a grammar nazi? Cool story bro.

        3. avatar SF says:

          The assertion is that jews have an outsized influence in the U.S. Since the world consists of much more than just the U.S., those claims which you listed still hold true.

          There is no hatred or bigotry involved. Some things are just objectively true. If the christian church were receiving grants from the government, you better believe the jewish run ADL and SPLC would be all over that. But since synagogues are receiving the money, they turn a blind eye.

          All of the countries and cities jews have been asked to leave give very similar reasons for their decision. Its becoming very obvious that jews are causing the same problems here. Now ill ask, how many times does a coincidence need to occur before it is no longer a coincidence? Quoting charlie brown and correcting grammatical errors wont hide the facts. Quit the (typically jewish) semantic auguments and grapple with the issues that are being raised.

        4. avatar Goy says:

          There likely wont be a good augument. Probably only cries of antisemitism and “this kind of talk is what led to the holocaust!”

          Fun fact: jews have maintained since the late 40’s that 6 million died in the holocaust.

          Original estimates of victims at auschwitz were 4 million; from soviet sources (they liberated the camp). However, in the 60’s, the 4 million number was revised to 1 million (a difference of 3 million). The soviets massively overinflated the number.

          Why hasnt the overall holocaust death toll number of 6 million been revised to 3 million (from the revised auschwitz number)? Its almost as if jews find value in being the victim…. Really makes you think, doesnt it?

          Earlier this year the german government announced more payments to holocaust survivors and the israeli government… coincidence?

  25. so we sue some place of worship because we are too stupid pack something to protect ourselves? because we think it is someone else’s job to protect us? Heaven forbid if everyone in that place was armed with a handgun of their own to protect themselves right? didn’t it say somewhere in the Bible that GOD helps those who helps themselves?

    1. avatar B.D. says:

      Did you miss the Jewish part?

  26. avatar JW says:

    “If we were only to have John Earnest in the lawsuit, c̶h̶a̶n̶g̶e̶s̶ money would never get made”. There, I fixed it for him. Ambulance chasers gotta chase, but I feel doubly sorry for the client of this putz, first because he was injured by a terrorist, second, because he is so morally blind that he needs to blame someone besides the guilty party.

  27. avatar Goy says:

    Separation of *Christian* church and state is enforced. Integration of synagogue and state is encouraged, seeing as how the same tribe operates both.

    1. avatar Rick the Bear says:

      Goy,

      Oooh. Another “person” spouting the brilliant assertion that Jooz run the world.

      For what it’s worth, I don’t think that there should be Federal grants for anything. That’s tax-payer money. OTOH, if funds are being offered, what’s the point in not taking advantage of the opportunity?

      Very best wishes for a happy life.

      Regards,

      Jew

      1. avatar Adam t says:

        Nobody made the assertion thats jews run the world, at least not in these comments. The usual claim is that they concentrate in very particular areas were they wield a disproportional amount of influence. This influence is typically used in ways which benefit them and israel, not us.

        If you were kicked out of 109 different bars, is that your fault, or the bartenders?

        1. avatar Rick the Bear says:

          Adam t,

          “Nobody made the assertion thats jews run the world, at least not in these comments.”

          You don’t visit here that frequently, do you? It does come up from time to time.

          Examples from this thread:

          “Integration of synagogue and state is encouraged, seeing as how the same tribe operates both.”

          “Guess who runs the media, the four biggest banks including the federal reserve, half the supreme court, and hollywood.”

          Tom-may-to, tom-mah-to.

          Rick the Jew

        2. avatar B.D. says:

          Jews do not run the world… they just control the finances.

          It’s not a conspiracy their level of corruption in the banking industry, or “their own country”. That said, I agree about grants. I just don’t agree with religion, and the point that was made is how if you are advocating separation of church and state, then do it for all the random religions. Sorry to burst your equality bubble, but it’ll never happen. The world will never coexist, and jews/muslims certainly are not improving those odds.

  28. avatar B.D. says:

    They gave Jews money and they didn’t do what they said they were going to with it? Now they want MORE money? Sounds…. jewish.

  29. Unless the shooter was a prohibited person lawful commerce should about cover the store….. unless something silly happened recently.
    درمان استرس بدون دارو

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