Chomiak v. Hopkins Restaurant Corp.
A court can award economic damages for medical expenses and non-economic damages, for pain and suffering, to an individual who allegedly is assaulted at a nightclub. The court found the following facts. On Dec. 31, 2008, the plaintiff and his friends went to the Alchemy Night Club to celebrate New Year's Eve. The plaintiff paid an extra $25 in return for a VIP wristband that entitled the plaintiff to an open bar and to remain at the nightclub until 5 a.m. At about 2 a.m., nightclub workers allegedly took away the plaintiff's VIP wristband and escorted the plaintiff to the nightclub's exit. The plaintiff re-entered the nightclub and asked to speak to his friends, so that he could inform them about his location. A nightclub worker allegedly threw the plaintiff against the wall and then onto the sidewalk. The plaintiff went to the hospital in an ambulance and required stitches on his eyebrow and eyelid. He was rated with a 5 percent disability to his back. His medical expenses were $5,323. The plaintiff sued Elm City Entertainment LLC, doing business as Alchemy Night Club. The plaintiff's complaint alleged that the defendant nightclub failed to properly hire, train and supervise employees and to maintain safe premises. The manager of the nightclub denied that the plaintiff was injured, as alleged, because the manager would have received a report, if any customers were injured. The defendant argued that even if the plaintiff proved he was assaulted, the assault resulted from the plaintiff's intentional conduct and that the defendant's employees acted in self-defense. The court credited the plaintiff's testimony and concluded that one of the defendant's workers forcibly ejected the plaintiff from the nightclub, which failed to maintain the premises safely for customers. There was no evidence that the plaintiff was intoxicated. The court granted judgment to the plaintiff in the amount of $16,000 against the defendant, Elm City Entertainment.