Restaurant expert witness provides insight into restaurant safety policies

Michael Morgenstern

Written by
— Updated on September 27, 2017

restaurant expert witnessA restaurant expert witness advises on safety policies with regards to physical altercations on restaurant premises. This case takes place in Rhode Island and involves a twenty-two-year-old man who entered a restaurant to pick up his take-out order. A fight broke out outside the restaurant between a delivery person and patrons who had just left the restaurant. The manager asked someone to call 911 before exiting and attempting to break up the fight. The victim waited inside. However, one of the combatants entered the restaurant and threw the victim’s food onto the floor.  The victim grabbed the combatant’s arms in an attempt to diffuse the situation. The combatant and his companions then turned on the victim, striking him several times in the face and injuring him. The attack caused severe and permanent injury to his eye.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Should the manager have taken steps to protect the patrons inside the restaurant from the fight outside?
  • 2. Should the restaurant have had a safety policy in place to address this type of situation?

Expert Witness Response

The manager should have closed and locked the restaurant door immediately when the initial fight began outside, in order to protect the customers. A magnetic lock on the entrance would have prevented the fighting patrons from re-entering the establishment. The manager should have escorted the customers who were inside to the back of the restaurant for their safety. Industry standards require restaurants to have a sound safety policy in place and to ensure all employees are trained. The victim’s injuries are a direct result of the employees’ negligence.

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