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New York County

In this action, the female plaintiff tavern patron in her 20’s contended that the defendant failed to provide adequate security and further failed to timely intervene when a verbal altercation between two patrons escalated to louder yelling and then to shoving over a period of 3-5 minutes. The plaintiff contended that as a result, she was pushed to the floor, suffering a meniscal tear which required two arthroscopic interventions. The plaintiff maintained that chondromalacia patella has developed and that the plaintiff, who was very physically active and worked as a physical trainer and exercise therapist, will be forced to lead a sedentary life.

The plaintiff contended that although approximately ________ patrons were present, the bar employed only one bouncer and the plaintiff’s security expert asserted that inadequate security was provided. The plaintiff also maintained that the bar did not provide sufficient training to the bartenders and waitresses. The plaintiff was accompanied by her then boyfriend whom she subsequently married. The plaintiff and her husband testified that the incident started as a verbal argument, escalated to a screaming match and that the participants then commenced pushing and shoving each other, culminating in the plaintiff being knocked to the floor. The plaintiff argued that the defendant had sufficient warning to prevent the incident from escalating and should have done so. The plaintiff also argued that if sufficient security was on hand and if the workers were sufficiently trained, the incident would have been prevented.

The defendant, who produced no liability testimony, denied that it had a sufficient opportunity to prevent the incident from occurring. In support of this position, the defendant pointed to the plaintiff’s EBT in which she indicated that a fight broke out and that she was suddenly thrown to the floor. The plaintiff contended that this statement in her EBT was semantical only. The plaintiff argued that in the EBT, the defendant did not request that the plaintiff give specific details regarding the estimated amount of time which elapsed from the point the quiet verbal argument became louder and the point the verbal argument escalated to a pushing match. The plaintiff argued that had such details been pursued, the plaintiff’s EBT testimony would have would have reflected that notwithstanding that she was thrown to the ground shortly after the altercation became physical and that it had escalated from a quiet argument to a much louder one over a relatively significant period, which the plaintiff contended, should have prompted the defendant to act.

The plaintiff’s orthopedist related that the plaintiff suffered a meniscal tear and that an initial arthroscopic procedure was insufficient, necessitating a second procedure. The orthopedic surgeon related that chondromalacia patella had developed and that the plaintiff will suffer permanent pain and restriction.

The physician testified that the friction will continue to wear down the ligamentous structures and that the condition will deteriorate in the future. The orthopedic surgeon opined that a future arthroscopic procedure will probably be necessary.

The plaintiff related that she had graduated with a major physical training and exercise therapy and had worked as a personal trainer, earning $25 per hour. The plaintiff contended that as a result of the incident, she has been unable to continue. The plaintiff also contended that athletics had been an extremely important part of her life. The plaintiff related that she had run competitively and had helped out coaching on girls track teams for local school districts. The plaintiff made no income claims as a result of her inability to continue such endeavors, but argued that it impacted significantly on her enjoyment of life. The plaintiff contended that ever since the incident occurred, she has been forced to give up her recreational activities and lead a relatively sedentary life.

The plaintiff has two young children. The plaintiff asserted that everyday activities such as dressing and bathing the children cause extensive additional pain and that she has been very restricted in the extent to which she can play with the children.

The jury found the defendant ________% negligent and awarded $________, including $________ for past pain and suffering, ________ for future pain and suffering, $________ for medical expenses, $________ for past lost earnings and $________ for future lost earnings.

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