Who can action be taken against if an employee of a restaurant punched customer in face? 3 Answers as of January 02, 2017

We entered a well know food chain. A discussion took place between myself (female) and a female employee sitting in the customer area. A male employee came running out from behind and struck my partner (male) with a closed fist to the face. Cops were called and they took a report and watched the video that had no audio but verified the employee was the aggressor. The police didn't arrest him because they said the other employees said my partner cursed at him. They said that could be a threat. My partner did not punch or push the employee back but did take a stance after he was punched and told him to step outside but nothing more. I was pushed to the floor by the female employee during all this. We don't know what provoked the guy. My partner was not talking to the female employee. I was. The guy may have been trying to impress her (?). We really don't know. Can action be taken against the restaurant and/or the employees?

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Law Offices of Carl L. Brown | Carl L. Brown
Possibly. It depends on circumstances not included in your question.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/2/2017
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
Yes, but the employer will claim that the employee's actions were outside the course and scope of his employment. Their insurance co. will probably negotiate a settlement. You definitely should have an experienced injury lawyer handle your cases.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/30/2016
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
You can sue the two employees and the owner of that particular restaurant as it is responsible for the actions of its employees, although it will claim their behavior was outside the scope and course of their employment so the restaurant should not be liable [was there negligent hiring of the employees, failure to properly supervise them, nothing done afterwards so ratification of their acts?] ?You could sue the main company of the organization but if the location is a franchise they can get out unless they control the day to day activities or otherwise were negligent [I am currently handling a case like that and the company is, of course, fighting very hard that it should be dropped from the suit]. But I have to think something more was involved that you have not mentioned because the male would not come running out and hit your partner without reason. ?Swearing at another person [unless calling them a vile racist name, etc.] is not using fighting words so the male employee can not argue self defense [the police officer probably thought more was involved and did not want to have to sort it out to decide who was wrong].
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/30/2016
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