Bouncers are persons who are employed by businesses to provide security. They are frequently employed at places that offer restrictive access, such as bars, nightclubs, sporting events, and concerts. They help enforce safety on the premises and also regulate access to events. Bouncers typically have training in handling various conflicts and physical confrontations in public places.

What Are Bouncers Authorized to Do?

While bouncers are not law enforcement personnel, their job description often entails security and public-safety related functions. They are usually authorized by the institution where they work to perform tasks such as:

  • Checking ID (for instance, for age-restricted clubs or for alcohol-purchasing purposes)
  • Monitoring entrance lines
  • Dismantling physical confrontations and fights
  • Ejecting persons from the premises who are being unruly or who have consumed too much alcohol

On the other hand, bouncers are not authorized to do anything that is against the law or that would lead to serious injury to a patron. While they are often responsible for maintaining safety and peace on the premises, they must do so in a way that does not jeopardize the well-being of the guests.

Can Bouncers Be Held Liable for Injuries?

This depends. Bouncer liability can include physical injuries, especially in cases where they have overstepped the bounds of their normal duties. For instance, if they use an unnecessary and disproportionate amount of force to stop a fight or to deal with an unruly patron, they may become liable for injuries caused by their violation.

Also, a general rule of thumb is that a bouncer cannot use physical force unless they are first threatened with physical force. Thus, a bouncer may be held liable for injuries if they were the aggressor in the situation (i.e. the first to attack).

Lastly, there may be issues with vicarious liability when dealing with bouncers. That is, oftentimes the establishment that hired the bouncer may be liable for injuries. This can happen for instance if the establishment’s management specifically ordered the bouncer to perform conduct that is not in line with local and state laws.

Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for Help with Issues Involving Bouncers?

The laws governing bouncer liability can vary from state to state, and even from city to city. You may need to hire a business lawyer if you’re facing any legal issues that involves bouncers, security, or other similar types of personnel. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice and representation and can ensure that your rights are protected during trial.