Various forms of violence, including fights and attacks can occur for numerous reasons in a nightclub establishment. The flow of alcohol can reduce the inhibitions of individuals and cause them to precipitate, in certain cases, in rowdy and dangerous behavior; the consequences can sometimes be tragic. In these environments, small disputes can quickly escalate into a push, a shove, a punch, and a kick. In the worst cases, gun violence or the wielding of a knife can inflict severe and sometimes life-threatening injuries.
Example: Recent East Naples nightclub shooting
On the night of Jan. 14, a man was shot and injured at an East Naples nightclub. The incident occurred at approximately 10:15 PM on the 2000 block of Tamiami Trail East outside of The Colosseum, otherwise referred to as the Blue Flame of Naples.
According to authorities, the fight began inside the establishment and spilled out into the parking lot. During the conflict, the man was shot in the stomach. Some inside the nightclub reported hearing several gunshots outside after the fight that had occurred inside the club. People inside the club panicked and ran to the exit doors. Those within the club reported that they did not see security inside the building.
The gunshot victim was airlifted to a local hospital with reportedly non-life-threatening injuries.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury on the property of a nightclub, you may have the right to obtain financial recovery for your losses. A strong legal advocate with the right experience can fight vigorously to secure compensation on your behalf.
Possible legal claims
The type of claim you may be able to bring depends on how the injuries occurred. Owners of establishments have a duty to their patrons to keep their establishments safe and also properly deal with aggravating or intoxicated patrons. This involves carrying out a number of responsibilities, including: following occupancy limitations, ensuring an adequate number of exits are available in the facility, providing sufficient security, ensuring intoxicated individuals are not served alcohol, and ensuring all exits from the building are available and open.
Failure to adhere to any of these responsibilities may submit the owner(s) to liability for an injury arising from these delinquent issues.
An experienced personal injury attorney handling these types of cases may bring one of several different types of claims including:
Club owners must ensure that their property is safe for any visitors or customers, regardless of their activity within the facility. Someone who trips, falls, or is injured in one of these establishments can experience bleeding, broken bones, and other injuries. Due to the alcohol that is prevalent within these facilities and among patrons, the owners have a responsibility to ensure particular elements of the property are secure and maintained properly in order to minimize the possibility of injuries. This would include ensuring that:
- Proper lighting is available for those inside the building
- Stairways are level
- Exits are not blocked
- Floors are free from damage and defects
- Railings are secure
- Floors are cleaned from spills
This is a specific type of premises pliability claim. Owners of nightclubs and other related establishments are duty bound to protect their customers from reasonably foreseeable dangers. For instance, liquor, combined with youth, as well as other personal interactions equate to a reasonably foreseeable occurrence of fighting and even possibly more widespread violence. As such, owners are expected to have:
- Adequate lighting inside and outside the facility
- Sufficient number of security guards and bouncers
- Certain measures to prevent fights and other violence from occurring, or at a minimum stopping them from continuing after they begin
Negligent security can also include excessive force exhibited by a bouncer if the harm they inflict is excessive and the individual exerts more force or harm than is necessary to prevent or stop a threat.
If you have found yourself in a situation in which you or a loved one was on the premises of a nightclub or similar establishment and suffered an injury due to the fault or negligence of another party, the Fort Lauderdale injury attorneys at Yeboah Law Group can help. We can fight on your behalf to hold liable those responsible for the physical harm you have experienced. To set up a free consultation to go over your case, send us an email through our contact form or call 1-800-TELL-SAM.