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Biggest Bar Night of the Year Can Bring Homecomings…and Lawsuits

November 23, 2022

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving, known as the biggest bar night of the year, is not always a happy homecoming for patrons, bouncers or bar owners.  Moss & Colella has handled dozens of bar liability cases in our history and know that when drinking leads to drunkenness or injury in rowdy bars, lawsuits may follow.  

Bouncers can use reasonable force to escort people from the premises, but in their zeal to keep bar patrons under control, they can overstep their bounds in protecting their employer’s establishment. The correct response for bouncers and bar owners is to call the police when drunken or unruly patrons won’t leave safely. Otherwise, bouncer-induced injuries ranging from broken bones and teeth to serious head injuries can result when patrons are literally thrown out of a bar.

Our law firm is currently handling a high-profile incident against a popular Detroit establishment where our client was stabbed multiple times. Other nightclub incidents brought to justice on behalf of clients or their loved ones include the ‘sucker punch’ of a patron in a St. Clair Shores bar that resulted in the patron’s death.

The biggest challenge in bar liability cases is that the patrons filing complaints have usually been consuming alcohol, thus creating a potential credibility gap. The bouncers are generally assumed to be sober. However, no or non-operating surveillance cameras on the premises, along with unrestrained bouncers, combine to seriously damage a bar owner’s testimony. In the overwhelming majority of cases where negligence is found, the bar owner’s insurance company will settle the case, in some instances, for substantial sums of money to avoid a jury trial.  That’s just one reason bar owners should only hire bouncers who have been trained insecurity and crowd control.

Bar-goers who see a bouncer getting physically violent with a patron, even if they are not involved, should leave the premises immediately to ensure their safety and then call the police to handle the situation.

There’s no benefit at all to bar owners to over serve a patron, because patrons have a variety of options when an alcohol-related incident or injury takes place. Michigan is one of several states with liquor liability laws that may hold bar owners responsible for serving minors or intoxicated patrons who then cause injury to others. However, a person may only recover damages where there is sufficient evidence to show that the ‘alleged intoxicated person’ was served or furnished alcohol while he or she was showing signs of ‘visible intoxication,’ and the consumption of alcohol is determined to be a ‘foreseeable’ cause of the injury.

Now, enjoy the holidays but do so safely and responsibly!

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About the Firm

The attorneys of Moss & Colella have carefully chosen their career paths to fight for those that have suffered from injury and wrongful death. We believe every citizen should have the right to hire the best lawyer who will actively advocate for their case.

David Moss and Vince Colella have over 60 collective years of personal injury trial experience that provides you a level of legal services and success unmatched by other firms. By working together, we have the ability to find creative, effective, and efficient solutions to even the most complex cases. No matter what situation you face, we will help you get through it.

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