In Chomiak v. Hopkins Rest. Corp., NNHCV116016899S, 2013 WL 1943850 (Conn. Super. Ct. Apr. 23, 2013), Stanislaw Chomiak was able to recover monetary damages from Hopkins Restaurant Corporation which operated Alchemy Night Club, a nightclub on Crown Street in New Haven, for personal injuries he received when he was assaulted by employees of the night club.
The Personal Injuries
The plaintiff alleged in his complaint that his injuries were caused by the negligence of the defendant to properly hire, train and/or supervise its employees, to allow the employees to assault the customers, failing to provide adequate security, and to maintain the premises in a safe condition for the customers.
The Court found that on New Year’s Eve 2008, plaintiff Chomiak and his friends went to the Alchemy Night Club in New Haven. They each paid $25.00 to receive a VIP wristband entitling them to open bar, food, and to stay at the upstairs portion of the nightclub until 5:00 a.m. Shortly before 2:00 a.m., the plaintiff was stopped by security personnel as he went upstairs and told to leave. The security personnel took his VIP bracelet and he was escorted out the side door.
Chomiak remained outside in the cold for about one-half hour. He then walked around the corner of the building to the front door and asked the woman at the front desk if he could inform his friends where he was. She notified security. One of the guards arrived and threw the plaintiff against the wall and lifted Chomiak off the ground and tossed him onto the sidewalk.
In the fall he struck his head, elbow, and fingers and was bleeding badly. After calling 911, a police officer arrived who called an ambulance to take him to the Yale New Haven Hospital where he was treated for about 4 hours in the emergency room and discharged.
The Court’s Decision
Chomiak received cuts to his face requiring stitches and was treated by a chiropractor for low back pain. In total Chomiak incurred total medical expenses of $5,323.66. In the subsequent trial, the jury determined from the medical testimony admitted at the trial that the plaintiff had received 5% permanent damage to his lumbar spine as a result of the assault by the nightclub staff.
The Court entered a judgment of $16,000 against the defendant, determining that Chomiak’s injuries were the result of the assault of the nightclub staff. The Court found the security guard was an employee of the defendant who had ejected Chomiak in the course of his employment and the nightclub had failed to keep the premises safe to prevent its customers from being assaulted.
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