Who is at Fault in Bar Fights?

Earlier in 2016, two different bars in Indianapolis had fights that resulted in deaths. These situations beg the question: is the bar responsible for the death in any way? In these two cases, neither bar was charged with negligence or sued. But in all cases, bars have a responsibility to keep patrons safe. How can they do that? The bar has a duty to provide a reasonable level of security and make sure it doesn’t overserve its customers, especially people who are already drunk when they enter the bar.

Security

Bars are required to provide security at a reasonable level. If the bar is full of non-threatening people, this may be minimum security. In busy environments where a large group of people come together, security is usually expected. The same applies to places where violence occurs more commonly. And security doesn’t just involve having a bouncer. Serving drinks in plastic cups instead of bottles and having tables and chairs secured to the floor might be necessary security in a certain kind of environment.

Alcohol Consumption Monitoring

The duty of someone who sells alcohol to make sure they don’t overserve customers is called a dram shop law. These laws mean bars and restaurants can be held responsible for the actions of overserved drunk customers after they leave. If someone fights you at a bar or even after they leave, and they were overserved at a public establishment, the bar or restaurant might be liable.

Bars also must make sure they aren’t serving a drink to someone who is already over the limit when they enter. If you’ve ever seen someone cut off by a bartender, these dram shop laws are why.

Have you been injured while on someone else’s property? Cline Farrell Christie Lee & Bell has an experienced team of Indianapolis premises liability attorneys who can help you explore your options.