Attorneys obtained summary judgment in a dram shop action brought against our client by three patrons who claim they were assaulted, abused and falsely arrested by off-duty police officers who had become intoxicated in our tavern
Attorneys obtained summary judgment in a dram shop action brought against our client by three patrons who claim they were assaulted, abused and falsely arrested by off-duty police officers who had become intoxicated in our tavern. The melee started in the tavern but eventually spilled out onto the sidewalk in front of the tavern where one of the off-duty officers allegedly handcuffed one of the plaintiffs and smashed his face into the hood of a police car. The off-duty officers charged the patrons with assault and battery and resisting arrest, but those charges were withdrawn after an Internal Affairs investigation revealed what really occurred. As a result of the IA investigation, one of the defendant police officers pled guilty to assault and agreed to undergo alcohol counseling. The plaintiffs' claims against the tavern were based on two separate theories of liability; first, dram shop liability for serving the off-duty police officers beyond the point of intoxication. In addition, plaintiff claimed that our lone bouncer declined to intervene to break up the fight because he knew that off-duty police officers were involved. After the completion of discovery, the court granted summary judgment dismissing plaintiffs' claims against the tavern. The court's decision was based in part on the plaintiffs' failure to obtain expert testimony on the dram shop claims. The court also ruled that the tavern's bouncer was justified in not interfering with the off-duty police officers.