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Mike Myers
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Bar Fight Raises Question of Premises Liability

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At approximately 1:00 a.m. on Monday, November 21, 2005 George Mosher Jr. was stabbed to death outside of Eli’s Pub in Kent. Mr. Mosher was an off-duty pub employee who was trying to break up a fight that had erupted outside the establishment. His assailants stabbed him in the chest, puncturing his lung and severing his aorta. They then fled the scene before police arrived. For more information about the incident, click on the following links: Man Killed Outside Bar in Kent; Man Killed in Bar Fight Identified

Instances such as this raise issues of premises liability and negligent security. Bar owners owe their patrons a duty to guard against known dangerous conditions. The Washington Supreme Court has held that landowners may be liable for failing to provide reasonable levels of security to protect their patrons from the criminal conduct of third parties. In the case of Nivens v. 7-11 Hoagy’s Corner the Court held that a customer who had been assaulted by a group of loitering teenagers could sue 7-11 for failing to provide a security guard to protect against the loiterers.

If Eli’s Pub failed in its duty to provide adequate security Mr. Mosher’s estate may have a cause of action against the bar.