Do I sue the owner of a nightclub where my injury occurred ifit was caused by the club’s bouncers?

UPDATED: Jun 15, 2011

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Do I sue the owner of a nightclub where my injury occurred ifit was caused by the club’s bouncers?

I was with friends downtown at a nightclub. When we were leaving, there was a fight already happening on the sidewalk in front of the club. When we tried to walk by, a person fighting came at me, knocked me down and when I stood up I was restrained by 5 bouncers. I didn’t know who grabbed me so I was trying to get away and in the midst of the struggle one took me by my arms and threw me down. I felt my ankle snap right away. To make it short, I broke my tibia and fibula and had 4 screws put in. I received a victims report, and have been out of work for almost 12 weeks. What can I do?

Asked on June 15, 2011 under Personal Injury, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You may be able to sue both the bouncer personally and possibly also the night club--and possibly it's owner(s), too:

1) Anyone who assaults you is potentially liable for your injuries--medical costs, lost wages, possibly pain and suffering (especially if there is any long-lasting disability). Possibly, if you were struggling, the bouncer could raise self-defense as a defense, but it's definitely worth looking into a lawsuit.

2) Since the injury was inflicted during the course of the bouncer's employment, if he would liable, it's possile the nightclub would be liable, too, under the theory of respondeat superior (basically, employer liable for the employee's acts); plus, even if the bouncer has a defense, if the injury occured because of unsafe conditions, bad management, etc. on the part of the club, the club could still be liable for its own failures.

3) If the club is not a corporation or LLC, but instead a sole proprietorship or partnership, the owners could be personally liable.

It is worth it for you to speak to a personal injury attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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