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Excessive use of force - Plaintiff being ejected from a concert arena allegedly injured by defendant security guard - Torn meniscus - Torn ligaments.

Bristol County, Massachusetts

The plaintiff, an industrial painter in his 40s, contended that the defendant security firm at a local concert venue assaulted him and caused him injury. The defendant denied liability and argued that the plaintiff caused his own injuries.

The plaintiff went with friends to a Boston area arena to see a concert. The arena had a strict alcohol purchase policy that required all customers to show identification, regardless of age, in order to buy alcohol from its vendors. The plaintiff attempted to purchase beer for himself and his girlfriend both of whom were well older than 21 years of age. The plaintiff showed his identification, but his girlfriend had left her identification in their car in the parking lot. The plaintiff, as is allowed, purchased two beers and, as he was walking away from the vendor stand, handed one to his girlfriend. A security person for the arena approached the plaintiff and informed him that he was not allowed to give the beverage to someone without identification.

The plaintiff took exception to the security person’s comment and there was an altercation wherein a beer was poured down the front of the security guard. The security guard then raised an alarm on his radio and various personnel, including the defendant security guard, responded to the call. When the defendant guard arrived, there was a melee going on. The defendant subdued the plaintiff, who was highly agitated, and began to remove him from the scene. The plaintiff contended that he was beaten, thrown to ground and kicked by the defendant security company employees.

As a result, the plaintiff claimed that his knee gave out and he suffered a torn meniscus, torn ligaments and was unable to work for a period of time. The plaintiff traveled in the course of his employment so he received treatment in Florida and introduced those records to support his claim. The plaintiff underwent surgery to repair and reconstruct his knee.

The defendant contended that the plaintiff was not physically assaulted in any way. The defendant argued that the plaintiff was being escorted from the venue when he dropped to the ground and began rolling around. The defendant asserted that the plaintiff did this several times while being removed from the premises. The plaintiff was held in protective custody until the police came and took him away. The defendant argued that there was no liability because any wounds the plaintiff received were self inflicted. The defendant also argued against causation. The plaintiff’s medical records showed that he had severely compromised knees with extensive prior treatment and surgeries over the course of a number of years prior to the subject incident.

The jury found no liability by the defendant and found in favor of the defendant on all claims.

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