Unfortunately our society is becoming more violent, and that violence is spilling over into restaurants, sporting events, gas stations, etc. Landowners owe their guests a non-delegable duty to maintain their premises in a reasonably safe condition, and that duty includes keeping their visitors safe from foreseeable harm.
Fan violence at sporting events has been on the rise, as has violence at sport’s bars during sporting events. A recent verdict by a Boston Red Sox baseball fan highlights the negligence of bar employees in allowing a situation to escalate. Monte Freire, was that Boston Red Sox fan who was stabbed through the neck by A New York Yankees fan at the U.S.S Chowder Pot III restaurant. Freire sued the restaurant/bar and alleged that bartenders ignored warnings that the Yankees fan was harassing fellow patrons and trying to start a fight and continued to serve him alcohol. This is in clear violation of a land owners duty to keep visitors safe from foreseeable harm, and the jury agreed. They awarded Freire $4.3 Million for his injuries which include a brain injury, a stroke, impaired speech and vision and severe scarring.
My law firm specializes in negligent security cases, and we handle a large number of stroke malpractice cases, and I thus can understand both the liability of the bar and the severity of the injuries sustained by Mr. Freire.
I am currently representing an employee that was shot and paralyzed while working at a Subway restaurant in Sunrise, Florida. The particular Subway was in a very high crime area, and neither the individual franchisee nor Subway corporate took any precautions to minimize the risk of violent crime in the area or to keep their employees safe. During the course of litigation we discovered that Subway, known as Doctor’s Associates Inc., does not keep any record of robberies or violent crimes. They do not investigate robberies or crimes, and do not provide any guidance to franchisees. Their attitude is if we don’t know about it, their is nothing we can do. We are hopeful that a Fort Lauderdale jury will not support the ostrich approach.