Assault lawsuit implicates Miami nightclub in premises liability

Miami has long been a popular destination for professional athletes looking to celebrate special events. Recently, three individuals have filed a civil complaint against a pair of professional football players for events which allegedly occurred at a birthday party held earlier this year.

The three plaintiffs, one male and two females, say that they were harmed while attending the birthday party for twin National Football League players Maurkice and Mike Pouncey at a Miami nightclub known as the Cameo. The trio filed the complaint July 25 with the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County Florida. Among other things, the lawsuit alleges that the nightclub which hosted the gala birthday party failed in its duty to protect nightclub patrons from conditions the plaintiffs described as foreseeable events.

The male plaintiff alleges that both Pouncey brothers and their security detail mocked him and used what they described as derogatory and homophobic anti-gay slurs against him which then devolved into a pushing and shoving match. The lawsuit says that the fight then quickly escalated as the male plaintiff was struck repeatedly in the face before falling to the ground where he was kicked and punched while he drew his body into the fetal position.

One other plaintiff suffered injuries and was knocked unconscious as she attempted to stop the attack, while the other plaintiff received an injury to her leg requiring stitches as she became unwillingly drawn into the rapidly escalating altercation. The injuries to the first two plaintiffs were described as blunt force trauma to the head, neck and torso, broken teeth, lacerations, cuts and bruises.

Attorneys for the Pounceys have issued a statement denying that there was any altercation between the twin brothers and the plaintiffs, and threatened to take legal action if the plaintiffs continued leveling false allegations.

Florida residents have a right to be free of harm whenever they visit a commercial establishment. In fact, property or business owners have a duty to exercise reasonable care to ensure the safety and welfare of customers patronizing their businesses. Property owners who neglect that duty may incur premises liability. Depending on the circumstances, a business owner may be ordered to compensate injured patrons for their medical costs and other related expenses.

Source: NBC Sports- Pro Football Talk, “Pounceys sued by three people after alleged incident at nightclub” Mike Florio, Jul. 25, 2014