Is the bar reponsible if my nephew was attacked? 17 Answers as of June 11, 2013

My nephew and his friend were jumped at a bar after my nephew's friend accidentally stepped on a guy's shoe. The guy and his friends attacked my nephew and his friend, punching them both, then they all left the bar. The bar's staff did nothing to help and let the guys walk out. Then when my nephew and his friend were on the way to their car to leave the bar, the guys jumped them again, this time kicking them, punching them, and choking my nephew's friend. They both had to go to the hospital and were there for several days. There were bouncers from several bars who were outside watching the fight but did nothing to help my nephew. Can the bars (at least the first one where the fight happened inside) be held accountable for not stepping in and calling the police after my nephew was attacked in their bar?

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Patrick M Lamar Attorney
Patrick M Lamar Attorney | Patrick M Lamar
There is no clear answer to this one. The conduct of the people liable was intentional. Generally there is no liability for another's intentional acts. However, the bar may have assumed a duty to protect when it provided bouncers and that could establish liability on the part of the bar. Also, there could be a Dram shop claim if the attackers were clearly drunk and being served alcohol.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/3/2011
Law Office of John C. Volz
Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
Yes, a bar can be held responsible for injuries where the supervision of the bar was negligent or they allowed something to occur on their property.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/29/2011
Wilson & Hajek, LLC
Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
If the witnesses confirm your fact scenario your nephew may have a case against the bar.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 4/29/2011
The Farber Law Group
The Farber Law Group | Herbert G. Farber
When a person is attacked or injured on another's property, there may be a claim for negligent security. In the case of a hotel or nightclub, their may be recover against property owners for foreseeable criminal acts by third parties.

Consult with a qualified Washington personal injury attorney.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 4/29/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Hello, There is a law called the "Dram Shop Act" which holds a bar responsible if someone that was already intoxicated was served more alcohol and then that person went out and caused damage due to their additional intoxication. That's a very heavy burden to carry in any law suit. Although some law firms may sue the bar for the injuries, it's not likely you would collect for such a thing, Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/28/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    I think the answer is "it depends". The bar, as is true for citizens, has no obligation to report crime. The question here though is what goes on or has gone on in the bar in the past. Why do they have bouncers? Has this group caused problems in the past? Your nephew should see a local personal injury attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    There may be a claim for negligent supervision. If the attackers were arrested the victims can also obtain some relief through the Victim's Advocates Office at the court house.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Clubs must have adequate security. That is the first question. Did they? If the bouncers stood and watched perhaps the club can be held responsible. I don't believe you can buy insurance for this type behavior and this could be a problem. Was your nephew hurt bad and just have hurt feelings? Obviously he can have them all arrested for assault and should.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    A bar can be held liable if it is negligent in not providing sufficient security. You often have to show that fights are frequent there so that the bar is on notice that security is needed. The fact that bouncers were present who did nothing could be important.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A.
    Ramunno & Ramunno, P.A. | Lawrence A. Ramunno
    The bar may have some exposure. But it will be hard to prove that they caused the intentional act,unless you can show more as to what they did wrong to cause the attack to occur, in the first place. But you should discuss with an attorney who is not afraid to handle difficult cases.
    Answer Applies to: Delaware
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky
    The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky | Mark Kotlarsky
    May be. It is not an easy case.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Yes. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible. You can call me if you have any questions.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/11/2013
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC
    Garruto & Calabria, LLC | Andrew F. Garruto
    It's possible that the bar will be held responsible in this situation, but the answer will be much clearer after a thorough investigation. Police records need to be obtained and reviewed, the officer(s) should be interviewed, as well as each witness. There may be surveillance motion pictures at the bar that may be helpful, and some patrons may have photographed some or all of what happened on their cell phones. I suggest that your nephew contact an attorney sooner, rather than later if he wants to pursue a claim.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC
    Tenge Law Firm, LLC | J. Todd Tenge
    Possibly. These types of injury claims are difficult. The claims are for intentional conduct against the actual individuals that injured your nephew and his friend. Usually the problem is (a) finding them; and (b) collecting any judgment you may obtain against them. The claims against the bar would be based on negligence for failing to maintain a safe /crime-free establishment. Various factors will be considered in this analysis, such as whether the criminal conduct was "foreseeable" and whether they took any precautions, etc. Also, your nephew and friend will, most likely, be accused of either starting it or contributing to it in an effort by the bar to reduce or eliminate any liability. they are tough cases to prove, but it can be done. If their injuries, losses and damages are significant, it is certainly worth contacting a qualified injury attorney with experience in these types of cases. We are available to discuss this matter in a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    It is possible the bar could be held liable depending on how much they knew of the first altercation inside the bar.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 4/28/2011
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