How to file a suit against a Night club?

Asked 8 months ago - Brooklyn, NY

An incident occured at a nightclub last night of which my two female friends were Beaten up punched numerous times in the face and had hair torn from their scalps and maced by the bouncers. They have sustained major injuries including a Busted lip and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree burns. What legal actions can be taken? How do we begin the process of filing a suit?

Attorney answers (14)

  1. Carol Lynn Schlitt

    Pro

    Contributor Level 12

    15

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I am sorry to hear about your friend’s situation and the injuries they suffered. I hope they are receiving the medical treat that they need.

    Your friends may have grounds to bring a claim against the nightclub and the people who assaulted them. These cases tend to be complex with many factors that can affect the ability to prevail with a claim. Here are some examples of the issues you need to address: What promises of safety did the night club make? What obligations did the night club have towards its patrons? Was the assault avoidable and could reasonable and prudent action by the nightclub prevent it? Can you prove a case against the assailants? Do the assailants have the assets to pay compensation? Did your friends contribute to the incident?

    I recommend that your friends consult with a local personal injury attorney who has experience with night club assault causes. I hope this information helps.

    The Schlitt Law Firm and Carol L. Schlitt provide answers for informational purposes only. If this answer is... more
  2. Jeffrey Ira Schwimmer

    Contributor Level 19

    15

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Having handled these types of cases, immediate action on your part and that of your friends is the most important thing you can do - and should do. There are time sensitive steps that need to be taken, not the least of which is investigating the existence, and trying to preserve, surveillance tapes, etc. Of course, making sure that you and your friends obtain medical attention without delay is equally important. Since the Bouncers are part of the assault upon you, you are looking at intentional torts claims, which have only one year statutes of limitations - periods of time in which the case must be commenced or else the right to sue is lost. Consult immediately with a personal injury attorney. These cases are handled on a contingency fee basis so you and your friends do not have to pay any fees up front, and don't pay an attorney's fee unless you get a settlement or verdict in your favor.

    Jeffrey I. Schwimmer, Esq
    20 Vesey Street - Suite 1200
    New York, NY 10007
    (212) 344-6700
    JSchwimmerEsq@verizon.net
    JSchwimmerEsq@att.net

  3. David Ian Schoen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    14

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    Answered . These cases present many pitfalls for the inexperienced and unwary. Insurance coverage is always an issue and owners bury their assets and frequently do not even tell their insurance company about the incident causing coverage obstacles. Most policies do not cover when intentional acts are involved so complaints have to be phrased very carefully. Bottom line is if you do not have an experienced attorney there is virtually no chance of a recovery, except if they have a medpay provision there might be limited medical expense coverage.

  4. Michael R Crosner

    Contributor Level 20

    15

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . These type of cases are complex - consult a local personal injury attorney. Most offer a free initial consultation.

    This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney .... more
  5. Gregory A. Goodman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 5

    13

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    Answered . It is very important to contact an attorney skilled in these matters to ascertain all the facts and give you an assessment on the law. You can meet with an attorney and they most likely will give you a free consultation. Note-you should act quickly. These types of cases are called intentional tort matters (maybe other causes of action) and they would need to their action(s) within one year from the date of the incident.

  6. Brian C. Pascale

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    13

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Two things must be done immediately. First, retain a personal injury attorney promptly. Do not attempt to speak with the insurance company. It will never help you, or your friends in this instance. Second, seek appropriate medical care. Each day you delay will hurt your claim.

    These cases involve multiple causes of action. We are litigating a similar case against a bar in Long Beach right now.

    Best of luck.

    If this Answer was of assistance please mark it as "helpful." Mr. Pascale is licensed to practice law in the... more
  7. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    13

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The legal action they can take is to retain a local personal injury lawyer to investigate. Avvo has a terrific "find a lawyer" tool to locate a top-rated Avvo attorney with a low contingency fee. Good luck.

  8. Louis Lawrence Sternberg

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Seek medical assistance and contact a local personal injury attorney ASAP.

    The above answer is intended for informational purposes and is not legal advice. It does not constitute the... more
  9. Jeffrey Bruce Gold

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    11

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Good question. Hiring the wrong attorney here, will cost your female friends a ton of money. Be extremely careful interviewing the attorneys regarding how they intend to proceed. Virtually every nightclub in NY has a policy that excludes coverage for injuries caused by assault and battery. If the attorney says they will argue Negligent Hiring and Negligent Supervision, move on. In NY claims of negligent supervision and hiring are excluded by the Assault & Battery exclusion. If they plead it, you lose. There is a true art to obtaining insurance coverage for claims such as this one that are otherwise excluded. You need to know in advance that your attorney understands how to plead this (and even then there is no guarantee of coverage.) Now a step further, you need to sue the bouncers personally, if possible. Additionally, your attorney needs to research asap the financial viability of the nightclub asap. Good Luck.

    Gold, Benes, LLP offers free telephone consultations between 10 and 4 weekdays.
  10. Michael T Warshaw

    Contributor Level 17

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should hire a personal injury lawyer. There is a potentially good suit pending here, but it is full of complexity. An experience lawyer will guide you through it. Don't post anymore about it and don't talk to anyone else about it. Use Avvo find a lawyer feature to locate a highly rated one near you.

    The content of the this submission is intended to provide general information on the topic presented, and is... more
  11. Effimia Soter

    Contributor Level 12

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Consult with a personal injury attorney. Seek the appropriate medical care since your accident occurred last night. Once you consult with an attorney, consult with the attorney about identifying who the security personnel worked for. i.e employed by the night club or a third-party vendor.

    As Mr. Pascale pointed out there are multiple causes of actions at your fingertips and timing is key. If you wish to file a cause of action for assault, the statute of limitations is 1 year.

    Best of luck.

    This response will not create an attorney-client relationship.
  12. Glenn Jay Holzberg

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    11

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    Answered . Perhaps NY law is very different from Florida law, but here I would file suit alleging that the night club failed to provide your friends with adequate security and investigate whether the assailants were known to the bar from past patronage as regular customers who either drank to excess regularly, did so,that night and or had violent tendencies exhibited in the past at the bar. Investigation can help,to determine those factors. also again in Florida, if the bar by crime grids that you can obtain from local police agencies, show the area is a high crime area, or more so, the bar has a history or violent attacks assaults fights etc then they have knowledge of past similar acts which make your freinds attacks more foreseeable. A security expert can testify as to,the standards for a bar under theses circumstances, and demonstrate notice foreseeability and preventability with a security audit, security plan and some reasonable preparation given what is easily obtained from state and local authorities, crime in the bar area and crime prevention methods. Police agencies are happy tho help, and sometimes failing to avail themselves of available resources with these other elements is evidence of negligence. Contact a good lawyer immediately as your focus is not on uncovered intentionally tortfeasors ( the bouncers) but in the more likely insured bar owner/ operator.

    LEGAL ADVICE: Unless you have retained me as your attorney, and I am currently engaged by you and providing you... more
  13. Yefim Rubinov

    Contributor Level 17

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . They would need to hire a lawyer ASAP. Don't delay

  14. Andrew T. Velonis

    Contributor Level 12

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . What do you mean "we". They might have grounds for a lawsuit, but not you. They begin by contacting a lawyer who in turn can start up an investigation. There will probably be about four different versions of what happened, and then it's a question of who has the best evidence.

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