A man, who used to work in the construction and landscaping business, filed a negligent security lawsuit against both a bar and the bouncer who was working the evening he was attacked and injured by another patron.
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The plaintiff was enjoying his night at a local bar when he found himself suddenly involved in an altercation with another patron.
While on his way to the restroom, a man who was visibly intoxicated, began to verbally and physically assault him. In the next few minutes as the plaintiff defended himself against the attack, a bouncer reportedly arrived but did nothing to intervene.
Without breaking up the fight, the bouncer ejected the men through an exit. No one else followed them or attempted to separate the men. Once in the parking lot, the plaintiff’s attacker drew a gun and shot him in the chest.
The bullet wound resulted in extensive damage to the spinal cord which left the plaintiff paralyzed from the chest down. He requires extensive medical assistance in his day to day life and suffers from extreme depression and anxiety. He has been unable to return to work because of his injuries.
The medical care required to treat him prior to the trial was more than $114,000, and experts estimated that over the course of his life he would need anywhere between $3.44 million to $6.4 million in additional medical care.
In his complaint, the plaintiff alleged that the bar and bar staff were negligent for failing to maintain a secure environment within the establishment. He claims that the bouncer should have intervened, the police should have been called the moment the fight broke out, and that the bar failed to use security measures that would have determined if his attacker was carrying a concealed weapon.
During the trial, evidence was presented that showed the establishment had a history of calling the police due to violent crimes on the premises, and that the bartenders had continued to serve alcohol to his attacker despite his visible intoxication.
The court sided with the plaintiff and awarded him $12 million in damages.
This case is an excellent example of both dram shop law and negligent security.
Dram Shop law in New York means that any establishment that continues to serve alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person can be held liable for any injuries that the patron then causes.
It’s scientific fact that alcohol can lead to impaired judgment, which results in behavior that the drinker otherwise would have refrained from. For a city like New York, which has over 2,000 bars and nightclubs, training employees to understand why it is important to refuse service to already intoxicated patrons is vital. This way, steps are taken so that patrons aren’t unexpectedly injured by someone who is out of control.
Negligent security is a type of premises liability. It occurs when an establishment fails to do everything that is reasonable in order to protect their patrons. For many bars and restaurants, reasonable measures include checking ID’s at the door, refusing service to visibly intoxicated patrons, providing adequate lighting, hiring and training security professionals, and installing surveillance cameras.
If you or a loved one were injured in a bar or nightclub due to negligent security, or the continued serving of alcohol to intoxicated patrons, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. In many cases, the victims are able to recover compensation for not only their medical expenses and lost wages, but also for pain and suffering and emotional distress. Suffering physically and emotionally is enough, you shouldn’t have to suffer financially too.
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