The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined defendant bar owner could not be liable for the spontaneous act of a bar patron which injured plaintiff:
… [T]he plaintiff allegedly sustained personal injuries at the defendants’ bar in Nassau County. At the time of the alleged incident, a female patron purportedly jumped onto the lap of a male patron, who was sitting on a bar stool. This apparently caused the two patrons and the bar stool to fall on top of the plaintiff, who was standing nearby. The plaintiff was “knocked” down to the floor…. ….
A property owner, which must act in a reasonable manner to prevent harm to those on its premises, has a duty to control the conduct of persons on its premises when it has the opportunity to control such conduct, and is reasonably aware of the need to do so … . Here, the defendants established, prima facie, that the alleged incident was spontaneous, and could not have been reasonably anticipated and prevented … . York v Paddy’s Loft Corp., 2022 NY Slip Op 04931, Second Dept 8-10-22
Practice Point: Here defendant bar owner could not be held liable for the spontaneous act of a bar patron which injured plaintiff.