Earlier this month, the Nebraska Supreme Court issued a written opinion in a premises liability case that highlights the importance of one of the key elements in almost every personal injury case. In the case, Pittman v. Rivera, the plaintiff was injured when he was struck by a car driven by a man who was very recently kicked out of the defendant’s bar. The court ultimately ruled in favor of the defendant, finding that it was not reasonably foreseeable that the at-fault driver would go on to cause an accident after being denied re-admittance to the establishment.
Pittman v. Rivera: The Facts
Rivera was kicked out of the defendant’s bar after he became aggressive with his girlfriend, an employee of the establishment. After Rivera was escorted out, a friend acted as a designated driver and took Rivera home. However, a few hours later, Rivera returned and tried to get back into the bar to speak with his girlfriend. The bar’s bouncer did not let Rivera in. Rivera then angrily got into his car, revved his engine loudly, and began driving around the bar’s parking lot in a reckless manner.
Pittman was also in the defendant’s bar that evening. At some point in the evening, Pittman stepped outside to speak with a few friends. As he stood in the bar’s parking lot, Rivera came whizzing around after making a series of U-turns and struck Pittman. As a result of the collision, Pittman suffered serious injuries and filed this lawsuit against the bar.
Pittman’s main argument was that the bar had a duty to protect him by taking precautions regarding Rivera after management kicked him out. The bar denied responsibility, arguing that it had no duty to Pittman and that even if there was a duty imposed, the bar’s management didn’t violate the duty.
The court ultimately determined that there was a duty owed to Pittman by the bar’s owner. The court cited the general rule in premises liability cases, which states that a business has a duty to protect its patrons while on or about the business’ property. However, the court also determined that the bar did not violate that duty. The court looked at the foreseeability of the type of injury and found that it was not reasonably foreseeable that this type of accident would result after kicking out Rivera. Because of this ruling, Pittman’s case against the bar will not be permitted to proceed. However, there are still several other parties from which Pittman may be able to recover compensation.
Have You Been Injured as a Customer at a Business?
If you or a loved one has recently suffered a neck or back injury in a Virginia accident while shopping at or patronizing any business, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. The skilled personal injury attorneys at Charles B. Roberts & Associates have the experience and confidence necessary to handle any type of personal injury case from beginning to end. Call 703-491-7070 to set up a free consultation with a dedicated attorney today.
See More Blog Posts:
Court Allows Plaintiff to Rely Solely on Circumstantial Evidence in Lead-Based Paint Lawsuit, Virginia Injury Lawyers Blog, April 18, 2016.
Car Accident Victim’s Award Upheld after Government’s Appeal, Virginia Injury Lawyers Blog, May 3, 2016.