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Can Déjà Vu Nightclub Owners Be Responsible for Damages to Shooting Victims?

Terrell Durr was arrested recently by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police for the shooting outside the Déjà Vu Showgirls Strip Club in November, 2011. According to the Las Vegas police, 23-year-old Robert James Turman got into an argument inside the strip club. Strip club security guards then escorted him outside the club. While in the strip club valet area, Turman was approached by a hooded sweatshirt man who shot Turman multiple times, then ran away. Turman died later at the hospital. Another strip club patron was also injured when a bullet grazed his foot. This patron was treated at the hospital and released.

Premise liability laws establish the legal duty a property owner, i.e. a nightclub owner, has to anyone while they are on the property owner’s property. Nevada premise liability laws, which cover Las Vegas, require property owners, which include nightclub owners, to keep their properties, buildings and grounds, safe for patrons. This means Las Vegas nightclub owners not only must provide adequate security personnel or personal protection for their patrons, but also equip their buildings and grounds (hallways, parking lots, lobbies, etc) with sufficient lighting, locks, and any other features necessary to keep their patrons safe. When a Las Vegas nightclub owner fails to make their buildings and ground reasonably safe and a dangerous situation or condition arises on their property, they can be considered negligent and held responsible for injuries a patron sustains or wrongful death.

Proving a Las Vegas nightclub owner is liable for injuries, such as from a shooting, or a wrongful death sustained on their property is not always clear-cut, though. First it must be shown there are actually physical and/or emotional injuries, or a death. Next it must be clearly established that these injuries or death occurred on the nightclub owner’s property or an area under the control of the nightclub owner. If the injuries or death occurred off the nightclub owner’s property or an area not under the nightclub owner’s control, it is much more difficult to show the nightclub owner has been negligent and is therefore responsible.

After the first two issues are proven, evidence must then be presented establishing how the nightclub owner was negligent, that it was foreseeable injuries could incur, and that if adequate security measures had been implemented the injuries could have been prevented.

The commentary is for educational and commentary purposes only. If you or someone you know has been injured at a Las Vegas or Nevada nightclub, contact Lagomarsino Law to ensure your rights are protected. Contact our office for a free confidential case review. You will receive a response within hours. Call Toll Free 866-414-0400