Reasons Bar Owners are Sued: Bouncer & Patron Fights

Posted on: August 4, 2017 by RMS Hospitality

Common Bar Lawsuits > Employee-Patron Altercations

In this series of blogs, we have discussed some of the major reasons that bar owners face lawsuits. From slips and falls to bar fights, there are a handful of culprits that contribute to the majority of claims in this sector. In this article, we’re going to explore employee and patron fights, which is the worst-case scenario for any bar owner. While bouncers are trained to manage and diffuse volatile situations, it can be tricky to understand what they are and are not allowed to do. In addition to securing your entire operation with a Sports Bar Insurance Program, here is some information to share with your bouncers to ensure you minimize liabilities.

What CAN bouncers do?

While many bouncers employ the “hands off” method, it’s not always possible to implement. For example, if a customer is being rowdy and using physical force with a bouncer, they have the right to use equal force in return to subdue the intoxicated patron. Here are some things a bouncer is legally allowed to do:

  • Check IDs
  • Break up fights
  • Use equal force when necessary
  • Refuse entry
  • Verbally warn rowdy patrons
  • Protect bystanders from injury
  • Notify police of fights and issues

What CAN’T bouncers do?

While some of these tasks are subjective, bouncers are NOT allowed to do the following, according to Legal Match:

  • Strike a patron with a punch or kick
  • Push or physically throw a person out of the establishment
  • Restrain them in a chokeholds, “joint locks”, or other techniques
  • Use weapons or pepper spray

Keeping composure during these incidents can be stressful, and there is a lot on stake should the bouncer react inappropriately. Therefore, comprehensive training should be a requirement. Otherwise, patrons can take legal action against your business for violating their rights.

About RMS Hospitality Group

At RMS Hospitality Group, we are dedicated to protecting the operations of bars and their employees. Our comprehensive coverage provides protection against a broad scope of exposures your businesses and employees face to promote their success and longevity. For more information, contact our knowledgeable specialists today at (516) 742-8585.

Posted in: blog Sports Bar Insurance

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