CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The family of a chef killed by a former employee in August 2017 plans to sue the restaurant on King Street in downtown Charleston where the slaying happened, according to court documents.
The wife of chef Anthony Shane Whiddon has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Virginia’s on King claiming the restaurant should have known about the extensive criminal background and mental health issues of the disgruntled former employee who killed her husband.
The suit claims the restaurant was not properly secured after Thomas Burns, 53, was fired and the location failed to properly establish a procedure for terminated employees before Burns came back to the restaurant and killed Whiddon during the lunch-hour rush on Aug. 24, 2017.
He then ordered all of the diners in the restaurant out and held one person hostage for hours until a Charleston Police officer wounded him. Burns died in the hospital months later.
The lawsuit states employees including Whiddon complained about Burns after he was hired, but no action was taken by the restaurant owners.
Whiddon’s wife is also suing for intentional infliction of emotional distress and premises liability. Holy City Hospitality and Bennett Hospitality Management have also been named as defendants in the lawsuit. She is seeking a jury trial as well as actual and punitive damages.