Tourists flock to South Florida for holiday celebrations, especially in the winter to escape the harsh cold. That’s what a 22-year-old college business major from Rhode Island did this past New Year’s Eve when he flew to Miami with friends to ring in the New Year.
But the reportedly unprovoked actions of an allegedly aggressive and negligent bouncer have left him permanently disabled.
After suffering a severe skull fracture as a result of the encounter, the man’s father said he was in a coma for three months and has suffered brain damage so severe, he is no longer able to care for himself. Now, his father has secured a $5 million settlement on behalf of the young man from the nightclub that employed the bouncer.
Businesses that welcome the public to their site have a duty to use reasonable care to prevent foreseeable injury. According to the lawsuit filed by the man’s father, the company that owned that nightclub – and many others throughout South Florida – promoted a “culture of violence” at its nightclubs. This, he alleged resulted in the severe and permanent injuries his son now faces.
According to media reports of the incident, the young man was in the Art Deco district with a group of friends when he became separated from the group. He stood outside the doorway of a side entrance. Moments later, a man working as a bouncer for the nightclub allegedly yanked him away from the doorway. The two exchanged some words before the patron began to walk away. Witnesses told police the tourist then encountered another bouncer. This individual was much larger than the tourist, and reportedly punched him in the face, causing the tourist to fall backward, his head striking hard on the pavement. His skull was fractured in numerous places. He nearly died.
The incident was captured on a security camera, and that became a central piece of evidence in the civil case. It will likely factor in the pending criminal case as well.
Once facing a promising future, the man now is unable to use the bathroom by himself or bathe himself. The man’s father said he is slowly learning how to walk again. He called the recovery agonizing, and said his son takes it an hour at a time.
The young man is a native of Morocco, but his parents have since moved to South Florida to ensure their son receives the best medical care while he continues rehabilitation.
In his negligent security lawsuit, the father alleged the nightclub had a duty to properly train its workers on the best way to handle customers. He alleged the bouncer who attacked his son was not properly trained. Florida law does not allow bouncers to touch people unless it is in self defense.
The employee was later arrested and now faces a felony battery charge. That case is still pending.
The company that originally owned that nightclub has since sold it to another firm, though the new owner does not reportedly list the club as one of its clients either.
The $5 million settlement was the maximum plaintiffs could receive under the original company’s insurance policy.
If you have been injured in an accident, contact the Hollander Law Firm at 888-751-7777 for a free and confidential consultation. There is no fee unless we win.
Miami Beach nightclub, family of beaten tourist to reach $5 million settlement, Aug. 26, 2015, By Joey Flechas, Miami-Herald
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Starkey v. G. Adventures, Inc. – Tour Injury and Notice of Forum, Aug. 21, 2015, West Palm Beach Tourist Injury Lawyer Blog