The Supreme Court of Nebraska recently released a decision in which they upheld a lower court’s ruling that granted summary judgment to a drinking establishment in a negligence lawsuit that had been filed by a man who was injured after a disgruntled patron returned to the bar after being forcibly ejected and struck the plaintiff with his vehicle, causing serious injuries. The plaintiff had alleged that the bar owners failed to uphold their duty to protect him from the conduct of the disgruntled patron, although the lower court disagreed. As a result of the appellate ruling, the plaintiff will be unable to recover damages from the drinking establishment, although he may still hold the disgruntled patron accountable for damages that resulted from the assault.
The Plaintiff Was in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time and Suffered Serious Injuries as a Result
The plaintiff in the case of Pittman v. Rivera was a patron at a drinking establishment owned by the defendant, and he was struck by a car in the parking lot as he left the bar. Although the plaintiff had not been involved in any initial confrontation, the vehicle was being driven by a man who had been forcibly ejected from the bar for fighting earlier in the evening. According to the the facts recited in the appellate opinion, the driver of the vehicle was involved in an altercation with another patron and was thrown out of the bar by security and driven home by a designated driver, only to return shortly thereafter in his own vehicle. The driver was again escorted off the premises by security, after which he entered his vehicle and began driving recklessly, eventually driving toward a crowd of people that included the plaintiff. The plaintiff was warned verbally by security to get out of the way, but he was unable to avoid being hit by the speeding car.