We recently concluded a negligent security claim against a nightclub facility in Broward County, Florida. The nightclub advertised an event on social media featuring live music, food and drinks with a festival theme. During covid, the nightclub had expanded their event space to include the parking area in front of the premises which they closed off and utilized for serving food and drinks. As a result, patrons were forced to park their cars off premises, sometimes at great distances. The nightclub did not add any extra security, nor did they hire off-duty police, install additional lighting or make any efforts to protect the sometimes, large crowds that would form in and around the property. Our client was visiting the nightclub with his girlfriend on a weekend night. The inside of the club became too crowded, and the club made no efforts to regulate the crowd. Our client and his girlfriend decided to leave and headed toward their car which was parked on the street in front of the nightclub. There was no visible security presence outside where a large crowd was attending the music event. Apparently, some type of altercation began in the nightclub while our client and his girlfriend were exiting. The altercation moved outside to the front of the nightclub, in the parking area, yet no visible security presence was there to protect patrons or control the crowd. Our client opened the car door for his girlfriend, made sure she was in the car and began to walk around toward the driver side when he was attacked from behind and shot in the back multiple times. It is unknown whether he was the target or if it was a case of mistaken identity. Since it occurred directly in front of the nightclub, there were many witnesses to the event. Our client received multiple internal injuries and spent a considerable amount of time in the hospital fighting for his life.
We brought a claim against the nightclub itself and the property owners for negligent security. During the course of litigation, it was determined that the security cameras on the outside of the building were non-functional and that no police presence nor security personnel were in place on the outside of the nightclub despite the fact that food and beverages were being served to patrons there. No accommodations were made for the doubling of space and capacity by use of the outside facility. There was no security plan or program in effect except for several bouncers at the door collecting entrance cover charges.
Our law firm retained a nationally recognized security expert who conducted various security assessments of the facility and surrounding neighborhood. He utilized criminal statistics to demonstrate the lack of security presence at the nightclub. These factors were presented to the owners of the premises and the nightclub operator and a 7-figure settlement was reached in order to enable our client to receive compensation for his injuries and damages.
Image credit: iSOMBOON / Shutterstock