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Security Company Liability for Assaults in Bars, Clubs and Other Establishments

Our New York City personal accident lawyers have handled numerous cases involving assault and batteries and other accident victims. The most common problem faced by our New York City accident attorneys is that the assailant usually has no money to pay for the damage and injuries that they caused. If you go no further, that would leave the injured victim of violence without a remedy. Fortunately, there are sometimes other parties who are responsible for an assault and who can be held liable for not taking adequate steps to provide either adequate security or a reasonably safe commercial property. Our New York City personal injury attorneys have significant expertise and experience in analyzing liability issues involved in holding both security companies, bar owners, nightclub owners and other land owners responsible for not providing adequate security for their patrons.

Often when an attack occurs on a commercial property which has a security company, there is often liability under New York law, if the security fails to intervene in the attack or prevent the attack where they should be aware of the impending attack.

The contract between the landowner and the security company often provides a basis to sue the security company because the security company voluntarily undertook the responsibility to protect the premises’ patrons. A non-party may sue a security company for a breach of contract if it is an intended beneficiary, even if not mentioned as a party to the contract, if the parties’ intent to benefit the third party is apparent from the face of the contract. Often the scope of the security company’s responsibility is determined by looking at the language in the contract. New York law recognizes that where a contract demonstrates that a security service was the exclusive provider of security services to protect third parties legally on the property, the patrons are intended beneficiaries of the contract to provide security. Where performance of the contract is to be rendered directly to a third party under the terms of an agreement, the third party is deemed an intended beneficiary of the covenant and is entitled to sue for its breach. New York law recognizes that an injured assault victim may recover as a third-party beneficiary of a security contract when a defendant security company fails to perform a duty imposed by contract when it appears that the parties to the contract intended to confer a direct benefit on the alleged third-party beneficiary to protect him from physical injury.

New York law also recognizes that security companies owe a duty to the premises’ patrons where the provisions of the contract evidence that the parties intended to confer a direct benefit on the third-party to protect him or her from physical injury. Security guards who voluntarily provide security services or who are under a contractual duty to provide security services for an establishment do owe a duty to protect patrons from the foreseeable assaults. Likewise, New York law recognized that the broad language in security company’s employee manual can impose a duty upon the security company’s employees to protect the patrons of the establishment from violence.

These general duties apply whether an assault occurs in a bar, a nightclub, a parking lot or a strip mall. The obligations to security companies and are more important where there is a history of violence either on the premises or in the immediate vicinity. Often our New York City personal injury lawyers will get the State Liquor Authority records of complaints of violence and other crime records from the local police departments.

In bars and clubs, in New York City and New York with bar scenes, including Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Yonkers, New Rochelle and Port Chester, violent patrons are often an inevitability. Where bar security fails to provide pat downs or metal detector searches, where there is a history of weapons or gang activity, often serious injuries and even death because of stabbings and shootings are the unfortunate result.

Likewise, too often bars and clubs hire unqualified security guards. New York’s Security Guard Law has strict registration requirements which exclude felons from working as security guards and requires training. Where unlicensed and unqualified security guards are employed they are often incapable of providing adequate security.

Our New York City personal injury and wrongful death attorneys regularly handle personal injury and wrongful death cases in New York City (Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn), Rye, Scarsdale, Yonkers, Mamaroneck, Elmsford, Mount Vernon, Bronxville, Ossining, Port Chester, Greenburgh, New Rochelle, Irvington, Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Valhalla, Mount Pleasant and Mount Kisco. From our Manhattan and New York offices our New York wrongful death and accident lawyers are ready to hold security companies who don’t do their jobs accountable.

Our New York personal injury lawyers offer free consultations in our New York City (Manhattan) office.

 
The Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph