When is a Bouncer Liable? - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Tuesday, 10 January 2017

When is a Bouncer Liable?

#AskDanielDiamond

Many bouncers seem to think that they are above the law, and that they may use whatever force necessary to eject a patron from their nightclub.

I’ve had clients who have done nothing wrong, but have simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time (in the path of an angry bouncer). Even if a patron has done something against the nightclub’s policy, however, it doesn’t give a bouncer an unqualified right to turn into the Incredible Hulk and start smashing whoever gets in his/her way. In fact, any unwelcome physical contact from a bouncer may be considered an assault, if unprovoked and not in self-defence. Where a patron is becoming disruptive, the bouncer should first ask the patron to leave, and then call police if the patron refuses to do so. If the patron becomes physically aggressive or throws a punch, the bouncer may have the right to engage in physical contact – within reasonable limits, however.

If you’ve been injured by a bouncer at a nightclub, in addition to any civil or criminal liability on the part of the bouncer, the nightclub itself may be responsible for your injuries, through the principle of “vicarious liability”– which means that the nightclub may be responsible for failing to properly train, vet or discipline its employees, or conduct proper background checks on prospective bouncers.

If you are injured by a bouncer, make sure to get the names and phone numbers of witnesses to the incident, who may be able to verify what happened – otherwise it may be your word against the bouncer’s.

5 Things you didn’t know about your Lawyer:

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