On Thursday, February 7, 2013, Naulty, Scaricamazza & McDevitt attorney, Sean P. Buggy obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a restaurant-bar in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. The case was tried before Judge Shelly Robbins-New from February 4, 2013, through February 6, 2013.
The plaintiff alleged that he was attacked and assaulted by the co-defendant at the entrance to the bar. The plaintiff claimed that the co-defendant was standing next to the doorman while he threatened the plaintiff for ten to fifteen minutes before the fight began. The plaintiff contended that the bar was liable under a theory of negligent supervision. The plaintiff also argued that the doorman had not been trained and that the bar did not have any policies or guidelines regarding the security of its patrons. The plaintiff’s liability expert opined that there was a deviation from the standard of care on the part of the bar which was the direct cause of the altercation.
On behalf of the defense, Mr. Buggy argued that the altercation was sudden and unexpected and that the bar did not have any notice, neither actual nor constructive, of what was about to occur. The former doorman testified that he did not hear, observe or have any knowledge that a fight was about to erupt. Additionally, Mr. Buggy’s liability expert testified that there was no evidence of any pre-indicators that would have alerted the bar that a fight was likely to transpire. He further opined that the doorperson acted properly and that there was no negligence whatsoever on the part of the bar. The medical experts of the parties to the dispute agreed that the plaintiff sustained a severe injury to the tibia which would require three future right knee surgeries.
The jury found in favor of the defendant restaurant-bar represented by Sean P. Buggy, Esquire. The jury did, however, find against the co-defendant in the amount of $240,611.00. This matter was tried under the “One Percent Rule” of the old Pennsylvania Joint and Several Liability law, wherein: Mr. Buggy’s client would have been responsible for payment of the entire verdict had the jury found the bar liable for as little as one percent of the damages.