Rob King Predicts Premises Liability Cases Involving Negligent Security Will Become More Difficult in Indiana After Recent Indiana Supreme Court Decision Goodwin v. Yeakle’s Sport Bar and Grill, Inc.
Recently, the Indiana Supreme Court held in Goodwin v. Yeakle’s Sport Bar and Grill, Inc. that a bar owner cannot be held liable for a shooting that takes place inside the bar no matter how dangerous the bar. It does not matter if there is a shooting every week at the bar and the bar does nothing to prevent the shootings from recurring. Nor does it matter that the victim who gets shot knew nothing about the bar being a place where shootings occur and nor does it matter that the bar failed to warn the unsuspecting victim that the bar is a place where he or she might get shot.
The Goodwin holding changes Indiana law. Previously, Indiana law had been that if a bar owner knew (or should have known) that his bar was a dangerous place, the bar owner could be held liable for failing to take reasonable steps to protect patrons. This meant that personal injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys in Indianapolis had a better chance of helping victims obtain compensation. Expect more bar owners and premises owners to argue that the Goodwin holding should be expanded beyond shootings to include no liability for any harm done to bar patrons. So again, if bar owners are promoting dangerous bar activity that results in weekly bar brawls, and the bar doesn’t tell you, the first time customer, expect lawyers for the bar to argue that Goodwin leaves the bar off the hook no matter how guilty the bar is of causing or contributing to the harm.
Rob King also predicts that the Goodwin case will result in premises owners (from parking lot owners to apartment complex owners to mall operators) arguing in any case involving the failure to take reasonable precautions to prevent victims from suffering harm that they have no legal obligation to protect victims. Further, Rob King predicts many appellate court decisions on this topic in years to come with different and unique rules being created depending on the type of premises involved.
With the Goodwin case changing the law here, it is more important than ever to ensure you have an experienced Indianapolis personal injury or wrongful death lawyer working on your behalf if you or a loved one has been involved in such an incident where security was negligent. Tune in for more Rob King commentary on this developing topic.