[Lowering the] Bar Exam Question One: if you go to a bar called “Pissed Off Pete’s” and then get beaten up by Pete himself, do you have a claim?
This is not a hypothetical question. Here’s the case report:
Patricia [Plaintiff] v. Pissed Off Pete’s et al.
1/16/2008 CGC-08-471147 (San Francisco Superior Court)
Complaint for personal injury and assault. Defendant [Pete] became enraged during an argument at his bar, defendant Pissed Off Pete’s. He dragged the plaintiff to the door, pushed her to the street, threw her against the wall, up into the air, and then slammed her to the cement ground, causing bruises all over her body and intense pain.
Answer: I don’t think assumption of the risk is a defense to an intentional tort, but even if it were, the sign only purports to warn that Pete will or may be “pissed off.” A plaintiff therefore would not necessarily have anticipated being physically assaulted.
Give yourself full credit for any answer you gave unless you are representing one of the parties to this case. If so, no points.
[Update: the case was later dismissed, so as far as I know there is no evidence that Pete or anyone affiliated with Pete committed the alleged assault, or for that matter, was even pissed off.]
Link: Yelp.com (info about bar) (case report from Courthouse News Service)