Premise Liability: Bodily Injury or Death from Security Guard Excessive Force

Death and bodily injury resulting from security guards misuse of force has been making headlines around San Diego. In the last month, there have been two cases in which a bar patron died as a result of security guard using force. Our San Diego premise liability attorneys explore the liability of these bar and strip club establishments resulting from potential negligent hiring and supervision of these security guards in this blog.

The first story making headlines occurred when a man died after being escorted out of Pacers Showgirls International in the 3300 block of Midway Drive in San Diego.  The 37 year old man, Joseph Thomas, died after a fight occurred with security guards in the parking lot of the adult entertainment club. When police arrived on scene security were detaining the unconscious man who allegedly caused a disturbance in the club. He was taken to the hospital where he died an hour later, according to police. Investigators are calling the incident a suspicious death. According to NBC San Diego, homicide detectives are looking to see if foul play or drugs were involved.

A second potential wrongful death occurred as a result of excessive use of force at the hands of a security bouncer was reported to have occurred in Oceanside.  A bouncer who worked at the Fire Water Saloon, located in the 300 block of North Tremont in Oceanside, has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter in the death of a 27-year-old man, Mark Girard.  According to San Diego news reports, Girard was allegedly escorted out of the Oceanside bar just after 2 a.m. on Dec. 28. Police said the security guard knocked the man to the ground, causing the man to strike his head on the ground. When officers arrived in the area, they found the man unconscious. He was taken to Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, where he died two days later.

In both of these examples, the patron of the bar was injured on the premise at the hands of security.  Both men were injured so badly that they died as a result of their injuries. The owner of a bar, nightclub or strip club, which is open to the public, has an obligation to make their property safe for its patrons.  This includes screening and hiring of security. Property owners must take extreme care in hiring security by looking in to their background for violent offenses and monitoring the security guards actions after they are hired. Unfortunately, at this time police are investigating whether the families of both of these young men have lost a family member because of the actions of these security guards. If the property owners were negligent in hiring competent security guards or knew of violent tendencies of a security guard involved, then they will be responsible to the families who may bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the bar.

If you or your loved one has been the victim of excessive use of force by a security guard, contact a skilled premise liability attorney, personal injury lawyer or wrongful death lawyer attorney at Martinez & Schill LLP today to discuss your case.  San Diego: 619-512-5995 or Riverside 951-200-4630.

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