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Nightclub Not Liable to Patron Assaulted Outside
Description Nightclub patron was assaulted outside of the club while waiting for friends. Since club did not know of the assault or have reason to believe that it would occur, there is no premises liability.
Topic Torts
Key Words Premises Liability
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Wells was assaulted outside a nightclub in the early hours of the morning while waiting for friends to arrive. Wells then continued to wait for his friends outside of the club and was assaulted again by the assailant and another person, who inflicted serious injuries. Wells sued the night club for failing to protect him from third party criminal acts. Suit dismissed. Under Oklahoma law, defendant club owners, a business invitor, had no duty to plaintiff unless it knew or had reason to know that the acts of the third person were occurring or about to occur. Wells appealed.
Decision Affirmed. The law in Oklahoma, as expressed in cases, "is that a business owner is not liable for third person assaults in its parking lot absent 'special circumstances' beyond those alleged in the instant case." Liability has been imposed for injuries suffered outside of a business only when there was a physical defect in the premises that caused injury.
Citation Wells v. Boston Avenue Realty, ---F.3d--- (1997 WL 572187, 10th Cir.)
125 F.3d 1335 (10th Cir., 1997)

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