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PA Bar Fight & Brawl Lawsuits - Innocent Bystander's Legal Rights (Part 2)

We represented a young woman who was seriously injured as a result of a bar fight in Philadelphia, PA. She was not involved in the fight.  Rather, she was walking out of the bar when she got punched.  Part 1 of this article described the events that led up to our client's injuries, and part 2 of this article will discuss how we helped her by representing her in a PA premises liability case.

As a result of the fight, our client suffered a fractured nose, a deviated septum and soft tissue injuries to her nose and sinus that required surgery.  The injuries resulted in a deformity to our client's nose, as well as prolonged breathing problems and continued tenderness in and around the nose area.  She came to us for help and we represented her in her lawsuit against the 19 year old (defendant).  We sued the bar and the 19 year old patron.

Pursuant to Pennsylvania law, specifically, the Dram Shop Act, it is illegal for bars to serve alcohol to minors or visibly intoxicated patrons.  Section 493(1) of the Pennsylvania Liquor Code provides that it shall be unlawful

[f]or any licensee or the board, or any employee, servant or agent of such licensee or the board, or any other person, to sell, furnish or give any liquor or malted or brewed beverages, or to permit any liquor or malted or brewed beverages to be sold, furnished or given, to any person visibly intoxicated, or to any insane person, or to any minor, or to habitual drunkards, or persons of known untempered habits.

In addition, it is illegal for a bar to serve alcohol to a person who is visibly intoxicated. 

In this case, the 19 year old (defendant) was a minor at the time of the incident, and she was visibly intoxicated.  Despite the fact that she was a minor and visibly intoxicated, the bar served her alcohol.  Therefore, the bar was responsible for the injuries caused by the 19 year old to our client.

Separate and apart from the bar's liability in violation of the PA Dram Shop Act, the 19 year old was also liable.  Her family's homeowners insurance policy covered her negligent actions resulting in our client's injuries.  It is important to note that not all homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for this type of case.  Some may have exclusions called "assault and battery exclusions" for such situations.  In this case, there was no exclusion on her parent's homeowners insurance policy.

The damages our client suffered were significant.  The bridge of her nose widened as a result.  Despite having major nasal surgery, the widened bridge could not be corrected.

We were able to confidentially settle the case for our client, who was very happy with the result. 

Injured in a PA bar fight? Call the personal injury lawyers at White and Williams who are licensed in PA and NJ to schedule a FREE consultation. 877.944.8396

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  • Phone: (215) 864-7168
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