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$________ Allegations of 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

The 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 asserted that the attack occurred as a result of the defendant’s failure to provide the plaintiff with adequate security by failing to follow its own security guidelines and by failing to follow acceptable security procedures for a night club which could hold ________ patrons. As a result of the attack plaintiff suffered multiple fractures to the face, jaw, orbital rim and 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 the fact that its security was inadequate and argued that since the plaintiff had taken a job as a sixth-grade teacher, he had recovered from his injuries.

The plaintiff, who was 28 at the time of the incident on April 23, ________, was a patron of the defendant’s night club, the Hunka Bunka Ballroom. The plaintiff alleged that he had just left the men’s room at approximately 1:00 A.M. when he was attacked by four men who apparently fled and were never identified. The evidence indicated that the Hunka Bunka was a night club which catered to a young crowd and had the capacity for ________ patrons.

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

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

In addition, the plaintiff 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, plaintiff’s injuries were foreseeable. In addition, the expert argued that plaintiff’s injuries could have been prevented if the defendant had more bouncers on its staff and had provided his staff with training to recognize explosive situations and as to when to remove patrons from the premises.

The defendant’ s principle contention was that the 20 bouncers that were on duty were sufficient to ensure the safety of the patrons even when the nightclub was filled to its ________-person capacity. Apparently, however, the defendant could not adequately rebut the plaintiff’s contention regarding negligence and did not offer an expert report to support its position or to contradict the plaintiff’s expert’s opinion. However, at trial, it is likely that defendant would have argued that plaintiff was contributorily negligent and would have introduced evidence that plaintiff was intoxicated. In addition, the defendant would have introduced testimony of a witness who stated 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 defendant argued that the plaintiff’s employment as a teacher was evidence that he hadn’t suffered permanent injuries, the defendant did not obtain an independent medical exam or offer an expert regarding the plaintiff’s injuries.

The parties reached a settlement one day before trial.

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