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Brawls in Malls: Getting Caught Up in the Mayhem

Few people ever intentionally engage in fights.  Basic societal norms mandate that we talk through our problems and not fight, but that does not mean law-abiding citizens are immune from the fallout of these altercations.  Brawls can sometimes become so great they cause damage to any individual unlucky enough to be too close.  The most notable example of these fights is a recent brawl at a mall in St. Matthews, Kentucky, just outside of Louisville.  The Courier-Journal reported the brawl included as many as 2,000 people.  Police officers from four different agencies responded to the incident.  Management of the mall eventually made the decision to shut the mall down at around 8:00 p.m.  Although no arrests were made by late Saturday, some mall employees were concerned enough that they shut the gates on their businesses in order to protect their customers.


Fights Can Occur in Any Public Space

Fights like this can happen in any public arena. Surprisingly, even town councils can sometimes erupt into violence.  The Indy Star reported that an investigation was beginning after punches were thrown at a local town council meeting.  The council meeting was intended to discuss the position of town marshal, but after the fight broke out numerous people tried to get out of the way, including a journalist who had to jump over a desk to safety.  According to the CT Post a scuffle occurred at a Bridgeport City Council meeting in which a councilwoman engaged in a struggle with the individual bringing the suit. Although the incident occurred five years previously, the city was still settling the lawsuit years later.


Casinos, of course, can also provide a venue for violence.  In early December, according to WREG Memphis News 3, a fight broke out at the Tunica Casino in Tunica, Mississippi.  The video provided by the news source depicts multiple people yelling and fighting on the casino floor.



Settlements are not uncommon for these kinds of lawsuits.  According to the Daily Herald, Kim Nelson just settled a case in which she was injured at an Elgin, IL karaoke bar in 2011.  Nelson filed suit against the bar for negligence in 2013.  Her suit alleged a bouncer at the bar hurled a bar stool, striking her and initiating a melee. It was during that brawl that Nelson alleged she suffered injuries.


What to do if You’ve Been Caught up in a Public Brawl

No one expects themselves to be on the receiving end of a punch in public, but as these stories demonstrate, anyone can be a victim of public violence.  If you find yourself injured as the result of a public brawl you have a few options. You may be able to sue the person who hit you, but in certain instances the melees are so chaotic, you may not know exactly who struck you.  Then you might be able to sue the owner of the establishment for negligently allowing such a brawl to occur on their property. Claims against business owners may vary depending on the duty they owe to you, but the only one who can properly analyze this relationship is a licensed Nevada personal injury attorney.  If you are injured as the result of a fight, contact a Nevada personal injury attorney today.

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