Premises Liability Claim (Innkeeper Liability):
You may have a claim if…
(1) The bar was put on notice of the offending person’s vicious or dangerous potential by some act of threat;
(2) The bar had an adequate opportunity to protect the injured person;
(3) The bar failed to take reasonable steps to protect the injured person.
4A MNPRAC CIVJIG 85.70
What is notice? Evidence of obvious intoxication and problematic interactions with bar employees and other patrons are examples of “notice.”
How can you prove the bar owners had notice? “When the totality of the facts and circumstances put the bar on notice, there is a duty based on foreseeability.” See Henson v. Uptown Drink, LLC 922 N.W.2d 185, 192 (Minn. 2019)
Hypothetical: George is known as an instigator of fights at Bob’s Bar and Grill. While at Bob’s Bar and Grill, George knocks Sam out on the dancefloor. Can Sam recover monetary damages?
Questions to Ask:
- Did the bar have knowledge of George’s tendencies?
- Did employees observe George’s threatening behavior prior to the assault?
- Did George appear visibly inebriated prior to the assault?
- Did Bob’s Bar and Grill have proper security staff on the night of the assault?
Liable? Likely, yes. If the bar knew George’s reputation and observed his threatening behavior prior to the assault, Bob’s Bar and Grill may be liable for monetary damages.