A popular watering hole near the University of Oregon is being sued for $3.75 million by a man who says a freak injury at the bar has left him unable to pursue “a host of attractive, lucrative careers” in music and medicine.
Winston Martin asserts in a lawsuit filed in Lane County Circuit Court that he suffered severe cuts to his left hand when — at a Max’s Tavern bartender’s request — he tried to separate a pint glass from a metal drink shaker, and the glass shattered.
The bartender had used a pint glass, rather than the shaker’s lid, to mix a margarita for a female patron, but asked Martin for help when he was unable to loosen the glass from the shaker, the suit alleges.
The bartender had served Martin at least six alcoholic drinks before the injury occurred, according to the lawsuit.
Martin went to a hospital after the incident and received several stitches in his left hand. The injury caused him to lose sensation in his left index finger and he only has regained minimal sensation in the digit since then, the suit says.
Martin’s suit describes him as an “accomplished guitar player” who had plans to attend medical school before he was injured. But now, he is “plagued by consistent pain that has rendered the use of (his) hand virtually inoperable,” according to the lawsuit.
Martin has since had to “reassess his career planning” and educational pursuits, according to the suit, which identifies him as a UO student. A university spokesman, however, said Martin is not currently enrolled.
The lawsuit, filed Jan. 15, asserts a negligence claim against the tavern and its owners, Ward and Kimberly Fairbairn. Bartender Jay Martin also is named as a defendant. The suit does not say if he is related to Winston Martin.
Max’s Tavern does business at 550 W. 13th Ave., west of the UO campus.
An attorney representing the Fairbairns, Steve Baldwin of Eugene, declined comment on the lawsuit.
Martin is seeking more than $3.2 million in economic damages, primarily to compensate him for “diminished earning capacity” related to the injury. He’s also seeking $500,000 compensation for pain, suffering and permanent physical impairment.
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