Man who was punched and left unconscious outside Chattanooga's Boneyard Bar suing for $1.5 million

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Lewis Armistead, left, and Jared Padovani, right, pose at the Boneyard Bar on Friday, May 13, 2022. The two are named in a recent lawsuit.

Caleb Young -- who was seen on video being punched by a security guard at the Boneyard Bar and Grill in downtown Chattanooga and left unconscious -- is suing the owners and a private security firm for a total of $1.5 million dollars, according to a lawsuit filed Friday.

The lawsuit names Jared Padovani and Lewis Armistead, who opened the Boneyard Bar earlier this year.

"Armistead, Padovani and Boneyard had a duty to ensure that persons working at their business location did not pose a risk or harm," the lawsuit filed by an attorney for Caleb Young stated. "Armistead, Padovani and Boneyard had a duty to monitor and ensure they did not hire or employ persons and entities that would harm patrons."

The night of Oct. 7, Young -- who was "in a highly intoxicated state," according to the lawsuit -- entered the bar and made a purchase.

"While inside the Boneyard, plaintiff (Young) made a $24.08 purchase ... as revealed on the plaintiff's bank records," the lawsuit stated.

Young was then escorted out of the bar. Armistead previously said Boneyard does not condone violence, adding that although the security guards "defended themselves," he would review the protocols of the private security team and would make changes accordingly. He did not immediately respond to email or phone inquiries in relation to the lawsuit Monday.

Robin Flores, the Chattanooga attorney representing Young, filed the lawsuit in Hamilton County Circuit Court against the bar, the unnamed private security company and three security guards -- named in the lawsuit as John Does 1, 2 and 3 -- allegedly involved in the incident after his client sustained injuries stemming from the punch.

The lawsuit states that Chattanooga police did not speak to Young immediately after the incident.

"Initial police reports indicate that police decided that plaintiff (Young) was 'the initial aggressor,'" the lawsuit said. "However, plaintiff avers that any initial police determination was based on lack of investigation."

Surveillance footage from a bar across the street obtained by Flores showed Young talking and being friendly to other patrons and subsequently walking toward Boneyard, talking to a security guard sitting on a stool in front of the establishment before entering the bar, according to the lawsuit.

"At no time did plaintiff (Young), try to force his way into the Boneyard," the lawsuit said.

Flores added, in the footage obtained, it was one of the security guards who pushed his client first.

"Without warning, Doe 3 (a security guard), while plaintiff (Young) is standing outside of the entrance, shoved plaintiff (Young) in the chest with both hands, knocking plaintiff (Young) to the street."

As previously reported by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, surveillance video shared on YouTube showed Young engaging with a security guard outside the Boneyard Bar on Oct. 7, at 10: 15 p.m. as a second one approached him.

Young was then pushed and fell to the ground, as seen in the footage. Young tried to get up, stumbled and then fell on top of the bar's sign. Young was able to gain his footing, then he and another security guard squared off, and the guard punched Young in the face.

In the video, Young was then seen falling unconscious to the ground and was left there for a few minutes as security guards closed the door. Another security guard was seen coming out of the bar, dragging Young by the shirt and pants and placing him under the benches away from passing traffic. The guard could then be seen on the video taking the bar's sign, entering the bar with it and leaving Young alone and apparently unconscious.

In the video, it was several minutes before someone came to Young's aid.

According to his attorney, Young will need several dental repairs. Flores is asking for $1 million in punitive damages, in addition to $500,000 in damages for mental anguish, pain and suffering and compensatory damages for his client.

Contact La Shawn Pagán at or 423-757-6476. Follow her on Twitter @LaShawnPagan.