Do I have a legal case after getting beat up by bouncers?
I was beat up and got my two front teeth knocked out by bouncers at a night club. I also needed stitches to my top lip, a root canal to another tooth, and I was diagnosed with a concussion.
They accused me of touching a female stripper on the backside at the club and decided to physically remove me instead of asking me to get up and leave under my own will. This was completely unnecessary. I have medical bills approaching $15,000 and about $14,000 more in damages for implants for my two front teeth.
Do I have a case against the night club and/or against the bouncers for what they did to me? Can I file criminal charges against them for assault? What multiple do you think my pain and suffering is worth? Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Do I have a legal case after getting beat up by bouncers?":
Jeremy (Hyannis, MA):
From the facts you present, you certainly have a right to file a criminal complaint against the bouncers who assaulted you. Apparently touching a dancer is taboo in the club.
Presuming you didn't leave peaceably, and fought back, the bouncers may have had a right to take the action necessary to remove you from the club. Legally speaking, the amount of force necessary to remove you must have been no more than was necessary to do so.
In the alternative, if you did not resist, then the bouncers’ assault on you was totally inappropriate. In that case you have the basis of a personal injury claim against the club owner. The bar owner can be said to have been negligent in hiring the bouncers, or in not controlling their behavior while on duty.
Before worrying about how much money you can recover from the club owner, you will need to seek legal representation. You can be confident the bar owner is not going to passively admit his employees were wrong and acted inappropriately. If he or she pays you willingly, it will open the door for other patrons to seek compensation any time a bouncer escorts them out.
There is a third issue to consider. If you and the bouncers were both at fault, then Massachusetts law provides for a "Contributory (comparative) negligence" review. This means your compensation from the bar owner will be decreased according to your percentage of fault in the matter.
The controlling law in Massachusetts can be found in Section 85 of Massachusetts General Law (Contributory Negligence). It is summarized as follows:
Contributory negligence shall not bar recovery by a victim (you) if such negligence was not greater than the total amount of negligence attributable to the bar owner.
The means as long as it is determined you were not more than 50% at fault for the assault, then you still have a right to be compensated for your injuries. Learn more about 51% modified comparative fault here.
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,
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