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Negligent security - 15 minutes after tavern fight, defaulting assailant returns with gun, shoots and kills other patron, and wounds plaintiff bystander - Abdominal gunshot wound.

Monmouth County, NJ

The plaintiff patron at the defendant tavern, who was in his mid 20s, contended that after the defaulting assailant became embroiled in a physical altercation immediately outside the tavern doorway, the assailant left, returned approximately 15 minutes later, shooting and killing the individual with whom he had fought. The plaintiff bystander was shot as he attempted to flee through the tavern door.

The plaintiff’s security expert contended that the tavern should have called the police after the initial fight and maintained that had they done so, the police presence would have prevented the shooting. The tavern denied that it was required to make an emergency call and advise that a fight had broken out a few minutes earlier, was broken up, and that one of the participants had left.

The plaintiff was shot in the abdomen and was in the hospital for several days. The plaintiff contended that he will permanently suffer gastric complaints. The tavern produced no medical testimony.

The jury found that the defendant tavern was not negligent. The plaintiff had elected for the judge to make the award against the defaulting assailant. The court awarded $________.

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