Injuries from Bouncers
Sadly, Atlanta and cities throughout Georgia have seen their fair share of injuries and deaths caused by overaggressive bouncers at nightclubs, bars, and public events. In 2016, after a Georgia Southern student was beaten to death by a bouncer, Michael’s Law was passed, which requires Georgia bar employees to be at least 21 years old and bans those under 21 from entering a bar. The victim’s family is also working to strengthen the law by requiring more training for bar bouncers, owners, and staff.
Despite noble efforts such as these, injuries from bouncers frequently occur due to negligent hiring, supervision, training, and other issues. Too often, bouncers lose their cool, and step over the line demarcating crowd control from assault and battery. If you or a loved one has been injured by a bouncer, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.Liability for Injuries Caused by Bouncers
A bouncer’s job is to make sure no harm comes to any patron who is in the establishment the bouncer is hired to secure. As security guards, they are responsible for defusing situations that arise, and they are expected to be able to control their emotions when patrons act inappropriately. When a bouncer fails to perform some aspect of his job and a patron is injured, the bouncer may be liable for the resulting injury, and his or her employer may be liable for providing negligent security.
In some cases of negligent security, a bouncer fails to take action to prevent a patron from being injured by another patron. In other cases, the bouncer causes the injury to a patron, and the bar or nightclub may be liable for the bouncer’s actions if the incident can be linked to his employment (it generally can). The range of circumstances giving rise to a bouncer negligent security claim include:
- Negligent hiring – Bar, nightclub, and venue owners and managers should conduct a thorough background check on all individuals applying to be a bouncer or security guard. If an owner or manager fails to conduct a criminal background check, and the staff member has a criminal record, that evidence can be used in the case against the bar, nightclub, or venue.
- Negligent supervision – When an owner or manager witnesses a bouncer becoming too aggressive or violent with a patron, and fails to interject or call the police, the bar, nightclub, or venue may be liable for negligent supervision.
- Negligent retention – If an owner or manager retains (does not terminate) a bouncer known to be aggressive or violent, and the bouncer subsequently injures a patron, the bar, nightclub, or venue may be liable for negligent retention.
In other situations, a bouncer may use reasonable force to eject an unruly patron from a venue, but then negligently place him or her in harm’s way once outside, such as by shoving an inebriated patron into the street. If the patron is then hit by a car, the bouncer and venue could also be held responsible for the accident victim’s injuries.Contact Our Lawyers if You Have Been Injured by a Bouncer
Bouncers and security guards do not have the right or authority to assault or attack individuals. Quite the opposite—bouncers are responsible for protecting the very people they too often victimize. If you or a loved one has been injured by a staff member in an Atlanta area bar, nightclub, or other public venue, please contact the legal team at Katz Wright Fleming & Dodson, LLC at 404-460-0101 or 888-426-2100. Our attorneys will help you obtain the compensation you deserve.