Assaulted by club security guard after he got off work...

by Steve
(California)

I was at a club last week & around 1:30am our group was kicked out because a few girls in our group were really drunk. Roughly 45 min later I was across the street from the club & got into an argument with my sister.

Club security had just got off work & started to leave. One of the security saw us arguing & walked over to tell me to stop arguing with her & to leave. I told him he should mind his own business & to leave us alone. Next thing I know he is between my sister & I, in my face telling me to leave.

I pushed him to get him away from me. That was the last thing I remember until I woke up a few minutes later after being knocked out. The police came & handcuffed the security guard. I was taken away by ambulance, but my friends said the police released him a few min later.

I contacted the club the next day to try to speak with the owner. I was told that the club uses a private security company & that I should contact them. They told me that their employee was off work & had left the property so as far as they are concerned it isn't their problem.

My question is:

Am I going to be able to go after the club or the security company for what their employee did to me? They are telling me the guy was off work, but if that's true why was he coming over to us, acting like he was still working and telling us to leave? What can I do? Any information you can give would be appreciated. Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Assaulted by club security guard after he got off work...":

Steve (California):

If the security guard (bouncer) was in fact off duty and had left the club at the time he assaulted you, then your legal recourse would be solely against the guard. For a company to be liable for the actions of its employees, the employee must have committed the negligent act while working within the scope of his or her duties.

If the security guard was employed and still "on the clock" when he assaulted you, then there is an argument the security company and club would be liable for your injuries and resulting damages.

Unfortunately, if, while working within the purported scope of his work duties, the security guard assaulted you, the security company and club will argue the employee was not acting within the scope if his normal work duties and therefore the security company and club owners would not be liable.

In most cases, when an employee commits a crime, that employee is said not to be acting within the scope of his or her duties, as most companies don't consider the commission of a criminal offense as part of an employee’s normal work duties. When an employee commits a crime, even when working, the employer is often not liable.

In the alternative, you may have a legitimate argument that the bouncer, while on duty, had an implied, if not overt job duty to physically separate patrons from fighting, or physically remove unruly patrons from a club.

Because of that work imperative, if the bouncer was still on duty, then as part of his normal work duties he did assault you in an effort to break up what appeared to be an imminent fight. Even if breaking up an imminent fight was part of the bouncer’s job duties, that is not an excuse for assaulting you.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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