A 55-year-old man was shot outside of the Happy Place Sports Bar in Orlando at around 1 a.m. on Monday, September 10. This marks the second shooting in as many months at the bar on the 7400 block of Southland Boulevard.
According to authorities, the incident began with an altercation between a security guard and another individual in the bar's parking lot. The argument eventually escalated and shots were fired. The victim was an innocent bystander and not involved in the altercation.
The victim was brought to Orlando Regional Medical Center and remains in stable condition. No arrests have been made.
On July 9, one man was killed and another four individuals were injured in a shooting outside of Happy Place. The victim was identified as 20-year-old Edgar Rivera Cruz. On July 20, police arrested Bryan O'Neill Diodonet Cortes for second-degree murder in connection with the shooting.
Attorney contributor Michael Haggard represents the victims of preventable violent crime. We've asked him to share some thoughts on bar owner liability for shootings and other violent incidents on their property:
Bar owners, along with other property owners, have an obligation to make sure their customers are safe from preventable dangers. Part of this obligation includes making sure their properties are reasonably safe from the risk of foreseeable violent crime. In some cases, shootings and other violent incidents may have been preventable if it weren't for negligent or inadequate security.
Crime victims and their families often require financial support for damages related to the crime, but the criminal justice system does not always provide adequate compensation. However, in cases where a property owner's negligence failed to prevent the crime, victims and their families may have grounds for a premises liability lawsuit against the property owner. Determining liability in these cases is complex, so those who are curious about their legal options should speak with an experienced crime victim lawyer.