Dave Dumencu left an Ontario bar and walk through the parking lot where multiple altercations were taking place. The bar’s bouncer was pushing people involved in the fight to break it up. While the bouncer tried to break up the fight, Dumencu walked past and was knocked to the ground, striking his head on the pavement and knocking him unconscious.
As Dumencu lay in the parking lot, patrons and employees drove away. An ambulance was called 30 minutes later, but Dumencu died hours later from bleeding, bruising, and swelling of the brain.
Dumencu, a 42-year old dentist, was survived by his wife and three young sons. The family sued the bar, bouncer, and manager for negligently failing to ensure Dumencu was safe in the parking lot. The claim was based on the Ontario Occupier’s Liability Act, which states that the owner of a business owes a duty to ensure that people on the property are reasonable safe.
Suit against the bouncer alleged that he was negligent in failing to call the police, ask for help, and ensure Dumencu’s safety in the parking lot.
Suit against the manager alleged that he was negligent in failing to ensure that the bar’s employees were properly trained and in failing to adequately staff the bar during the night in question.
The Plaintiffs believed that the bar was vicariously liable for the bouncer and the manager, as they were acting in the scope of their employment at the time of the incident.
The Ontario jury awarded $3.1 million to the family of Dumencu and his estate. The jury found that the bar and manager were each 35% liable, the bouncer was 15% liable, and Dumencu was 15% liable for his excessive intoxication. The plaintiff’s netted $2.6 million as well as interest and costs.
Under the Ontario Negligence Act, the defendants are jointly and severally liable. Thus, any of the defendants may end up paying the entire $2.6 million award solely or they each may pay their percentages.