Innocent victim cannot sue bar that failed to call police after evicted patron threatened to "pop someone."
Larry Goodman, as P.R. of Akil Goodman's Estate, and David Washington sued The Beach House Bar after Akil Goodman and Washington were shot by a patron who had been evicted from the bar. Goodman and Washington were random victims of a parking lot shooting spree that resulted after the evicted patron told bouncers that he would "get a gun and pop somebody." The Plaintiffs argued that the bar should have called police in response to this threat.Two judges of the Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of the plaintiff's claims because the "generalized threat" made by the shooter was not directed at any particular individual, and therefore, according to these judges, the bar owed no duty to anyone to respond to the threat. The dissenting judge disagreed vigorously, pointing out that the threat was clearly directed at the individuals in the bar who were responsible for bouncing the shooter, thereby creating a reasonable duty by the landowner to involve the police.