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Can I Sue for Bouncer Injuries in South Carolina?

Can I Sue for Bouncer Injuries in South Carolina?

In Columbia, South Carolina, it’s common for people to meet up with friends and have a few drinks at one of the local bars. Some of the bars favored by residents and tourists alike include the Art Bar, the Tin Roof, Night Caps, Bourbon, Jake’s, and the Social Bar and Lounge among others.

Since drinking establishments and nightclubs serve alcohol, it’s common practice for bars and nightclub owners to employ bouncers to keep their patrons safe. Usually, bouncers are big, muscular guys who aren’t afraid to kick a bar patron out if they get too rowdy or start a fight. After all, when the alcohol is flowing, patrons can become rowdy, boisterous, belligerent, and they can become violent. For reasons we can understand, bouncers definitely serve a purpose.

When Bouncers Use Unreasonable Force

Bouncers (and security guards) walk a very fine line. By the nature of their work, they may have to use force, but it must be reasonable and it cannot be extreme. They are expected to take care of rowdy guests and sometimes, this means forcibly removing a patron. But when does the force become extreme?

At what point does the force cross the line and become assault? If the bouncer used unreasonable force and it subsequently injured a patron, the patron may have a personal injury against the establishment that hired the bouncer. It’s all in the details.

For example, suppose a man walked into a bar and unexpectedly saw his wife flirting with a man at the bar. The wife was supposed to be at the movies with her girlfriend, not at the bar flirting. The husband walks over to the wife and starts yelling at her. A bouncer promptly heads over to the bar and asks the husband to leave and he refuses.

After ignoring the bouncer’s firm requests to leave, the bouncer resorts to grabbing his arms and escorting him out of the bar. The husband starts yelling profanities at the bouncer, and it angers the bouncer so much that he throws the man outside on the ground. The problem is that he threw the man so hard, that he broke his two front teeth as his face hit the ground.

Since the bouncer was out of bounds, the man who was thrown out could file a personal injury lawsuit against the bar. But are there any times when a bouncer can legally use violence against a patron? After all, it happens.

If a patron attacks a bouncer and the bouncer acts in self-defense, the bar may not be liable for the patron’s injuries. So, it all comes down to whether the bouncer was reckless or negligent, and if the patron was wrongfully injured as a result of the bouncer’s actions.

Next: Evidence You Need in a Personal Injury Claim

If you were injured by a security guard or bouncer who crossed the line, contact our Columbia personal injury firm to file a claim for compensation.


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