Heymann & Fletcher

Premises liability claim follows shooting incident in tavern

New Jersey owners of commercial establishments -- such as restaurants, taverns and nightclubs -- are required to appropriately protect those who are legally on their premises. They should ensure proper security inside and outside their establishment. Failure to provide safe surroundings may lead to patrons suffering personal injury that could result in the property owner facing premises liability claims.

A tavern owner in another state must answer a complaint filed by the wife of a man who was killed while they were patronizing the establishment. According to the lawsuit, a man entered the bar, and although he was already in an intoxicated state, the establishment continued serving him alcohol. It is alleged that the man became disorderly and proceeded to assault and batter the deceased.

The wife claims that they attempted to leave in order to avoid further assault, but her husband was knocked down by the intoxicated patron. While he was on the ground, the drunk man allegedly produced a firearm and shot her husband in his back. He was rushed to the hospital but succumbed to the injuries prior to arrival. The surviving wife accuses the tavern owner of failure to recognize the potential danger of serving an already intoxicated patron, and failure to employ adequate security personnel to protect other patrons.

The wife in this tragic shooting may be facing financial difficulties after having to cope with end-of-life expenses and related costs that may be recovered if her claim is successful. New Jersey residents who face similar situations retain the right to file a premises liability wrongful death claim in a civil court. Successful presentation may lead to full and fair compensation of all damages that were brought about by the death of a loved one.

Source: The West Virginia Record, "Woman sues tavern after husband was shot, killed by drunk patron", Annie Cosby, Oct. 8, 2014

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