Articles Tagged with Nightclub Security Negligence Attorney

Nightclub-Bar-Scene-300x192Nightclub Responsibility and Patron Rights

Nightclub patrons have a right to be safe and secure while on the premises of the establishment they are visiting. By law, nightclub owners and managers have a duty to protect patrons from any foreseeable harm.

Nightclub & Bar magazine reminds industry owners and managers:

“It is imperative that you keep your customers safe while protecting your employees, establishment, and franchise from lawsuits. By becoming certified in a responsible alcohol server training course, you are making a reasonable effort to prevent underage consumption, drunk driving, and intoxication. In addition, you will improve customer service, receive discounts on liquor liability insurance, and you demonstrate to the community that you and your establishment have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to selling alcohol to underage and/or intoxicated customers.”

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NightClubThe Metropolitan Police Department of Washington D.C. has published detailed safety guidelines to assist owners and managers of nightlife establishments in deterring crime and maintaining a safe premises. One goal of the publication is to reduce sexual assaults in nightclubs, bars and lounges. These guidelines are highlighted below.

9 MPD Nightclub Management Guidelines to Deter Sexual Assault

  1. Management and employees can help to prevent their premises from being exploited by sexual aggressors, who may seek to take advantage of vulnerable patrons. Alcohol is the most common substance aggressors use to facilitate sexual assault. Both the aggressor and the target may have impaired judgment and lower awareness as a result of alcohol consumption, leading to a greater chance of sexual violation anywhere along the spectrum from harassment to violent assault. However, the environment around a sexual aggressor can make a difference in their behavior.
  2. Young women are statistically most likely to be the target of unwanted sexual attention and ag- gression, but it’s important to keep in mind that anyone may be a target, including patrons of gay establishments. Aggressors often present themselves as friendly, seeking to get to know a tar- get, buying them drinks, or otherwise displaying a romantic interest. Aggressors may also engage in unwanted contact such as pressing up against someone on the dance floor, groping, or “up-skirt” grabbing. If bar staff notice any of these behaviors, it may be useful for them to ask the target if s/he would like any intervention and/or keep a close eye on the situation in case it escalates.

    Escalation can also take place off-premises. A common scenario is for an aggressor to initiate an interaction on the premises, isolate the target from her friends, and then persuade or pressure the target to leave with him. Employees should be attuned to behavior that seems overly familiar or aggressive under the circumstances, especially if the potential target is visibly intoxicated or seems to be impaired.

  3. Establishment personnel should offer to call a cab for the vulnerable or impaired person, and closely observe as patrons leave to see if they seem to be able to navigate safely. Security personnel at the door or outside are well positioned and should observe when patrons leave. They should also take general note of whom patrons arrive with and whether they leave with the same group or someone else. Note that aggressors may seek to get targets drunk or drugged, encourage them to get some air, and then pull up in a car or hail a cab to take them away.
  4. If establishment personnel sense that something is awry, either when an aggressor is purchasing drinks for a potential target who is visibly intoxicated, isolating her from her friends, or trying to leave with her, personnel should make it clear to the aggressor that they have been observed by asking them in front of others how they’re doing or if they need some help. Staff can also use distraction techniques to separate the target from the aggressor, such as telling the potential target that her friends are looking for her. If possible, employees should make a note of the circumstances, the descriptions of the parties, or any other information that could become relevant at a later time. However, establishment managers and staff should make every effort to keep patrons safe and proactively intervene if they observe any suspicious or problematic behaviors.
  5. Encourage groups to designate one person as a chaperone and perhaps identify this person with a wristband. This person could be served non-alcoholic beverages at a discount for the night.
  6. For prevention of assaults on the premises, maintain surveillance cameras outside restroom doors, and consider employing a restroom attendant. Ensure that restrooms are used by the appropriate gender. If the restrooms are gender-segregated, monitor to ensure that men do not enter the women’s restroom (keeping in mind that some people who appear to be one gender may in fact be another). Surveillance cameras should be monitored throughout the night, especially near closing time. Ensure that storage areas and other restricted areas are kept locked and secured. Closed darkened areas create a potential danger.
  7. Support staff, including porters, barbacks, busboys, and kitchen staff, should receive sexual assault awareness training that will help them be aware of patron behavior and recognize potential perpetrator behaviors that may lead to sexual assault, especially as these employees work in or pass through areas that are dark or restricted. As part of their training, employees should be instructed to immediately report any suspicious or problematic behavior to a supervisor or manager.
  8. Establishments can send a clear message that there is zero tolerance for sexual assault by posting signs letting patrons know that their safety is a priority, and including on the signs who among the staff a patron can approach if they need assistance.
  9. Perhaps most important, management and employees should trust their instincts regarding possible predatory behavior they may observe. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. Management should communicate to employees, ideally by establishing a written policy, that they support proactive efforts to address suspicious, aggressive, or predatory behavior. If possible, employees should make notes of any situation they observed for later reference if needed.

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Safe Bars is a Washington D.C.-based movement dedicated to preventing sexual harassment and assault in nightclubs and bars. Organizers urge nightclub owners and staff to protect their patrons from sexual aggression through training and intervention.

The Safe Bars campaign, designed by Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS) and Defend Yourself, “trains and empowers staff at alcohol-serving establishments to recognize and respond to incidents of sexual harassment and assault among staff and patrons.”

Safe Bars Works To:

  • Increase bar staff understanding of the scope and causes of unwanted sexual aggression;
  • Increase bar staff recognition of inappropriate behavior along the continuum of sexual and relationship violence;
  • Provide bar staff with the skills needed to respond to such behavior safely and appropriately, whether by stepping in as a bystander or when asked for help;
  • Share with bar patrons safety messages that encourage respect and lets customers know that bar staff are available for help;
  • Actively promote bars that adopt safety standards;
  • Award “Safe Bar” certification to bars that complete the training.

Why Bars?

Bars are a great place to address sexual assault prevention for a variety of reasons. They are social gathering places where alcohol is readily available, and though many people are able to safely enjoy themselves, sexual aggressors may use these types of environments as a “staging ground” for selecting, isolating, and even incapacitating their target. Nearly 1 in 5 women will be raped in their lifetime. Approximately half of all sexual assault perpetrators are under the influence of alcohol at the time of the assault. CASS regularly receives submissions from the DC community on unwanted sexual attention, including harassment and groping, that takes place in local bars and clubs.

Why Bystanders?

Bystander intervention is a key approach to preventing sexual violence. Bar owners, managers, security personnel, and other staff are in a unique position to observe and intervene to prevent sexual assault by creating a safe space for patrons. Evaluations of bystander intervention programs such as Green Dot have shown significant decreases in participants’ acceptance of rape myths and increases in both reactive and proactive bystander behaviors.

Safe Bars empowers bystanders with skills to:

  1. Identify high-risk behaviors of potential perpetrators;
  2. Intervene either proactively or reactively;
  3. Overcome barriers to taking action.

Does It Work?

Safe Bars builds on the success of similar programs in Arizona and Boston. Research has shown that bartenders, bar staff and young adults who patronize bars are key populations to address in preventing sexual violence.

Read More at Safe Bars

Our Legal Take

By law, bar and nightclub owners are required to protect all patrons legally on the premises from any foreseeable harm.  We applaud Safe Bars and those nightclub owners and security managers who take a proactive approach to venue security and safety, training their staff to recognize and respond to incidents of sexual harassment and aggression before they escalate.

We’ve Recovered Millions for Victims of Nightclub Security and Safety Negligence…Contact us Now for a Free Consultation.

Headline Frame Fox News FireThe Murray Law Firm has an extensive and successful record representing victims of nightclub security and safety negligence. We have recovered millions of dollars for our Clients, and we recently obtained a $29.25 million dollar verdict for a victim of an unsafe property. We offer our legal assistance, if desired.

We represent our Clients on a contingency agreement, which generally means that no fees or payments are owed until and unless we recover.  Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us via e-mail (click here) or by telephone at 888.842.1616. Consultations are free and confidential.

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Choosing the Right Attorney

Selecting the right attorney for you or your family is highly important. You must feel confident that the attorney you hire has a complete understanding of the law applicable to your particular case, and has successful experience in handling such cases.

Important: Do not hire a lawyer who has violated the Rules of Professional Conduct!!!

You should not hire an attorney who calls you or visits you unsolicited, or anyone that contacts you directly to offer legal services. This activity is strictly prohibited by Rule 7.3 of the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which states as follows:



If an attorney, or someone acting on behalf of an attorney, contacts you in this manner, that attorney is in violation of this Rule. This unethical and unprofessional activity on the part of the lawyer is good sign that you should stay away. It is imperative that you are represented by an attorney who is capable of advocating for you within the confines of the law, and an attorney who fails to abide by the Rules of Professional Conduct is probably not the best fit. In fact, any such attorney should be immediately reported to the local State Bar Association. If you have been contacted in such an unsolicited manner, contact us and we’ll assist you in filing a report.

Contingency Fees Disclaimer: “Contingent attorneys’ fees refers only to those fees charged by attorneys for their legal services. Such fees are not permitted in all types of cases. Court costs and other additional expenses of legal action usually must be paid by the client.