Assaulted trying to break up workplace fight at a bar...

by Joe
(San Antonio, TX)

On March 5th, I was bartending in downtown San Antonio. A group of men and women came into the bar, and long story short, ended up jumping our door man. They were seriously beating him, and I felt it was my obligation to run around the bar and try to stop this from happening.

Once over there, I tried yelling at them to stop, which of course went unheeded, and so I pulled one of the men away from my coworker, who they were beating while he was on the ground unconscious.

As soon as that happened, I was then attacked by at least 2 men, and in the course of the scuffle, I slammed into the bar, seriously injuring my shoulder. I have since not been able to work, and have been told on more than one occasion by the bar owner that my case "doesn't qualify" for workers' comp.

I spoke to an injury attorney that felt I most certainly have a case for workers' comp, but I wanted to put this out there and get another opinion. I haven't contracted with an attorney yet. What are my options here? Is this workers' comp? Is there anything else I can do? Thanks!

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Assaulted trying to break up workplace fight at a bar...":

Joe (San Antonio, TX):

From the facts you present, you may have the basis of a workers' compensation claim. To qualify as a workers comp claim, your work duties would have had to include breaking up bar fights, or otherwise using your physicality to protect the integrity of the bar.

It only seems logical as a bartender the owner must have previously instructed you on what to do in case of a bar brawl, whether it was to call 911, contact the bouncer, or otherwise take any other action but entering the fray yourself.

If the owner never instructed you in what you were to do in the event of a bar brawl, then you may have a legitimate case for workers' compensation. If the owner refuses, speak with an attorney about filing a third party lawsuit directly against the owner.

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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