Punched by a Bar Manager...

by Daniel
(Los Angeles, CA)

There was a little scuffle among friends at a bar. One of my friends punched a fire extinguisher case and the glass broke. My friend told the bar he'd pay for the damages, but the manager walked up to him with bunch of workers, punched him and told him to clean it up.

Is there a legal case against the bar for the manager punching my friend? Thanks for any information you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Punched by a Bar Manager...":

Daniel (Los Angeles, CA):

Your friend has a claim against the manager and the owner of the bar. Even if you and your friend were intoxicated, it's still not an excuse for the manager to assault your friend. Even the breakage of glass does not excuse the manager from assaulting your friend.

Hopefully someone called the police. If they did the worst that might have happened is you and your friend might have been cited for public intoxication. The manager though should have been arrested for assault.

Your friend would have a much better chance seeking compensation from the owner of the bar. The owner probably carries "premises liability" insurance. Your friend can also pursue the manager, but would have a much better chance against the owner.

Owners of bars are responsible for the actions of their employees. This includes their committing assaults on patrons. Your friend needs to contact the owner and request she give him the name and telephone number of her insurance company. With that information your friend can begin his claim for damages.

If the owner will not cooperate your friend can consider filing a small claims lawsuit. The State of California's Small Claims Courts have a jurisdictional limit of $7,500.00 dollars. That means your friend can pursue his claim without an attorney.

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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