Restaurants, museums, grocery stores and other businesses open to the public owe a duty to their customers. Part 1 of this article discussed a public establishment’s duty to protect its patrons and customers from dangerous conditions on the premises.
Part 2 of this article will discuss a public establishment’s duty to protect its customers from harmful acts of third parties on the business premises.
Not only do the restaurants, museums or grocery stores have to protect their customers from unreasonably dangerous conditions on the premises, they may also have a duty to protect their customers from harmful acts of other third parties at the businesses.
Restatement (Second) of Torts Section 344 provides:
A possessor of land who holds it open to the public for entry for his business purposes is subject to liability to members of the public while they are upon the land for such a purpose, for physical harm caused by the accidental, negligent, or intentionally harmful acts of third persons or animals, and by the failure of the possessor to exercise reasonable care to
a. discover that such acts are being done or are likely to be done; or
b. give a warning adequate to enable the visitors to avoid the harm, or otherwise to protect them against it.
Consider the following situation: A private party is held at a local bar. Underage party attendees are served alcohol who then become belligerent and rowdy. A fight ensues between the underage attendees, and a patron is seriously beaten and injured. The bar may be liable to the injured patron because it owed a duty to protect him from harmful acts of other persons. The bar should know that serving alcohol to underage attendees is illegal and that it is foreseeable that a risk of harm may result. Further, the bar may also be liable because it did not have enough security to control the rowdy attendees.
Every injury case at public establishments caused by a third party is different; therefore, it is advisable to speak to an experienced PA personal injury lawyer to explore the validity of a personal injury lawsuit.
If you or a loved one was injured by another person at a bar, restaurant or other business, you may be entitled to compensation. To explore your legal rights, feel free to contact the PA personal injury lawyers at 877.944.8396