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Who can I sue after falling on a slippery surface in a Las Vegas nightclub?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Aug 07, 2018 | 0 Comments

Las Vegas nightclub patrons who get injured in a Nevada slip-and-fall accident may be able to sue the following parties for negligence:

  1. the staff member(s) whose negligence caused the slippery surface,
  2. the company that owns the nightclub, and/or
  3. the club patron whose negligence caused the slippery surface (if applicable)

Slip-and-fall victims may be able to recover compensatory damages for medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering. And depending on the case, the court may award punitive damages as well. If the victim died from the slip-and-fall, then his/her family may bring a wrongful death claim.

1. Nightclub employee as a defendant

Las Vegas nightclub slip-and-fall injuries are commonly caused by employee negligence. Examples would be a bartender at Hakkasan spilling a drink and not cleaning it up, or a janitor failing to spot and clear a spill.

Sometimes a slip-and-fall may be caused by an intentional act of a disgruntled employee. An example would be a Marquee bouncer purposely spilling water somewhere in the hopes that an argumentative patron would fall down. In this case, the victim could sue for an intentional tort such as battery.

2. Nightclub as a defendant

Under the Nevada doctrine of vicarious liability (a.k.a. "respondeat superior"), a nightclub can be held liable for any injuries caused by its employees' negligence when:

  1. The employee was acting within the scope of employment, and
  2. The injury was a normal risk of the employer's business.

Nevada nightclubs such as Hyde and Chateau are usually not liable if their employee(s) intentionally caused someone to slip and fall. However, the nightclub could still be liable if it was negligent in hiring, retaining, or supervising the employee(s). This may occur when:

  • The nightclub did not conduct a reasonable background check of the employee(s),
  • The nightclub hired or retained an unfit or dangerous employee(s), or
  • The nightclub was negligent in supervising, disciplining, or training the employee(s).

The advantage of suing a nightclub for slip-and-falls is that it presumably has deeper pockets than any of its employees.

3. Nightclub patron as a defendant

If the slip-and-fall was caused by a patron in the nightclub, the victim may be able to sue the patron for negligence and/or battery depending on the circumstances.

Typically, Las Vegas nightclubs such as Light and Tao are not held liable for their customers' wrongful acts. However, nightclubs are obligated to exercise reasonable care to prevent injury to their patrons and employees. This duty of care comprises providing adequate security and supervision on its premises.

So if the nightclub arguably should have done more to prevent the patron from causing the slip-and-fall, then it may be possible for the nightclub to be liable as well for the plaintiff's injuries.

Comparative Negligence 

Even if the victim was partially to blame for the slip-and-fall, he/she may still be entitled to damages as long as he/she was no more than 50% liable for the injuries. The amount of the victim's damages would simply be lessened by the extent to which the victim is liable.

Learn more about suing for Las Vegas nightclub injuries.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).

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