Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Bar After Parking Lot Fight Leaves Customer Permanently Blind

Posted 2 years ago — Ooley Law Blog
In Cavanaugh’s Sports Bar & Eatery, Ltd. v. Eric Porterfield (Case No. 20S-CT-88), a Eric Porterfield sued Cavanaugh’s Sport Bar for negligence after he was left permanently blind following a fight in the bar’s parking lot. Ordinarily, landowners must “take reasonable precautions to protect invitees from foreseeable criminal attacks.” Rogers v. Martin, 63 N.E.3d 316, 326 (Ind. 2016).


However, in this case, the Indiana Supreme Court ultimately held that the bar owner did not owe a duty to protect Porterfield from a sudden parking lot brawl because there was no evidence to show that Cavanaugh’s knew the fight was impending. Because we continue to decline to impose a comprehensive “duty on proprietors to afford protection to their patrons” from unpredictable criminal attacks. Cavanaugh’s Sports Bar & Eatery, Ltd. v. Porterfield, 140 N.E.3d 837, 838 (Ind. 2020).


You can read the full opinion at this link or at the embedded PDF below: