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ARTICLE ID 8448

$________ Alleged inadequate security at night club - Altercation causes plaintiff to sustain multiple fractures to face, jaw, sinus and orbital rim - Open reduction and fixation of sinuses and orbital rim required - Permanent injuries alleged.

Middlesex County, New Jersey

The male plaintiff contended that he was attacked by four patrons at the Hunka Bunka Ballroom in Sayreville, which is owned and operated by the defendant Omnium Corporation. The plaintiff maintained that the attack occurred as a result of the defendant’s failure to provide adequate security by failing to follow its own security guidelines and following acceptable security procedures for a night club which could hold upwards of ________ patrons. As a result of the attack, the plaintiff maintained that he suffered multiple fractures to his face and jaw, his orbital rim and his sinuses. The plaintiff’s sinus injury required open reduction with internal fixation. The plaintiff alleged permanent injuries including loss of sense of smell and taste, constant headaches and short-term memory loss.

The defendant disputed that its security was inadequate and argued that since the plaintiff had taken a job as a sixth-grade teacher subsequent to the attack, he had fully recovered from his injuries.

The evidence revealed that the plaintiff, who was age 28 at the time of the incident which occurred on April 23, ________, was a patron at the defendant’s night club, the Hunka Bunka Ballroom.

The plaintiff testified that he had just left the men’s room at approximately 1:00 a.m. when he was suddenly attacked by four men who apparently fled and were never identified. The evidence indicated that the Hunka Bunka Ballroom was a night club which catered to a young crowd and had the capacity for ________ patrons.

The evidence also indicated that the Hunka Bunka Ballroom had in place guidelines for dealing with patrons who became involved in an altercation. The guidelines required that the persons be immediately removed from the premises. However, the evidence further indicated that the defendant did not provide any training for their security personnel. The plaintiff obtained records from the Sayreville Police Department which revealed that in the year prior to the subject incident, the Sayreville police department had been called to the Hunka Bunka Ballroom some 40 times for various reasons, including fights and drug use.

At trial, the plaintiff would have offered the testimony of a witness stating that earlier that evening, he had seen the same four men beat up another man. A bouncer, who approached the four persons involved in the altercation, did not remove them from the defendant’s premises as the defendant’s guidelines mandated. This p 7 3 evidence would have been introduced to support the plaintiff’s theory that the defendant failed to follow its own guidelines and failed to properly train its security personnel.

The plaintiff also obtained the opinion of a premises liability expert who would have testified at trial that given the heavy use of alcohol by a large group of young persons within the confines of the defendant’s night club, the plaintiff’s injuries were foreseeable. In addition, the expert argued that the plaintiff’s injuries could have been prevented if the defendant had more bouncers on its staff and had provided its staff with training to recognize explosive situations and when to remove patrons from the premises.

The defendant’s primary contention was that the 20 bouncers who were on duty that night were sufficient of ensure the safety of the patrons, even when the night club was filled to its ________ person capacity. Apparently, however, the defendant could not adequately rebut the plaintiff’s contentions regarding negligence and did not offer an expert report to support its position or to contradict the plaintiff’s expert’s opinion. At trial, it is likely that the defendant would have argued that the plaintiff was contributorily negligent and would have introduced evidence that the plaintiff was intoxicated. In addition, the defendant would have introduced testimony from a witness that the plaintiff and the four assailants had been talking for some 30 minutes prior to the fight and that the conversation did not appear to be heated. Regarding the damages issue, while the defendant argued that the plaintiff’s employment as a teacher was evidence that he had not suffered permanent injuries, the defendant did not obtain an independent medical exam or offer expert opinion regarding the plaintiff’s injuries.

The parties reached the $________ settlement one day before trial.

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