Beautiful decision in ugly case: negligent hiring and supervision and Dram Shop claims dismissed

Hendrix v. Jinx-Proof LLC, et al., Supreme Court, New York County, April 30, 2010

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Associate Jessica Napoli obtained partial summary judgment on behalf of the client bar owner in a personal injury action brought by a patron. Plaintiff claimed that as closing time approached at Beauty Bar, an altercation arose between her friends and a door security guard, in the course of which she was struck by a flying glass. Upon motion for summary judgment, the defendant bar showed that it had no knowledge of the doorman’s allegedly violent propensities. Further, it established that liability could not be based solely upon a failure to conduct a criminal background check. Evidence that the bar’s principal smelled marijuana on the doorman, when they met socially, did not indicate knowledge of any violent tendencies. Dram Shop claims were also dismissed, based on uncontroverted evidence that the doorman had not been intoxicated. Plaintiff could not show that her injuries arose out of the intoxication of her friends, and there was no “chain reaction” that led to her injuries.

The Court also dismissed all claims against the individual shareholders, upon showing that they could not be liable for the conduct of the corporate owner of bar.