Injuries stemming from accidents are always in the news – but what about injuries caused by a security guard or perhaps a bouncer? In May 2015, a security guard in Jersey City at a North Bergen nightclub was accused of shoving a man onto the sidewalk, which sent him to the hospital with serious head injuries. He ended up being charged with aggravated assault and offenses related to his failure to obtain a Security Officer Registration Act (SORA) card. He apparently pushed a man with enough force to send him backwards and strike the back of his head on the sidewalk, and he then became unconscious as a result. Why? It started with a physical altercation. The problem is that security guards are expected to protect patrons and there are legal rights involved with those who become injured by these people.
As mentioned, security guards and bouncers have a duty to protect others and also conduct their business in a non-negligent matter. If their conduct constitutes negligence, then they could end up facing a serious personal injury claim. These people meant to protect then breach their duty when they cause harm or put others in danger as a result of their negligence. One thing that can come into play is the fact that most jurisdictions will accept that security guards are entitled to use some force as it pertains to their job, meaning they can use said reasonable force to maintain the peace in the establishments in which they are working.
You or somebody else may have seen a bouncer physically push somebody to get them from doing something illegal or starting trouble. To eject somebody from an unruly scene, they may use force to stand in the way of the individual, and this can be seen as reasonable, especially when the patrons are intoxicated and trouble is brewing. In some cases, patrons may even become violent. These are the cases that call for bouncers and security guards to defend themselves and use appropriate force against that person.
An issue is that bouncers could end up liable for negligence in a scenario where an unruly patron is ejected from the bar and falls down a flight of stairs due to the force that the bouncer used with them. They may not have intended to cause injury, no. However, it could still be seen as negligent because they had that specific duty to eject them from the premises in a non-negligent manner. These cases can sometimes be hard to prove in a lawsuit because, typically, those bringing the lawsuit were inebriated or engaged in some type of illegal behavior that caused them to end up being injured.
Assault and Battery
There are some intentional torts that are usually alleged against security guards and bouncers like assault and battery. Assault is what happens when a security guard places a patron in apprehension of imminent physical harm on purpose. Battery is when an assault involves physical touching. For instance, a threateningly raises fist would be assault, and a punch that connects with skin could be classified as battery.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to negligence by a security guard or bouncer, you may have a case. These people have a duty to protect others and when that duty is breached, somebody will be held liable. You can call WTW today to schedule a consultation and see where you stand. We will be with you every step of the way to take on your case!