News & Insights

Court Publishes Aptly Articulated Case on Nightclub Owners’ Liability

October 2019

Heineke & Burke obtained for its client a favorable dismissal in the Cook County lower court, that was recently upheld on appeal to the 1st District Appellate Court. Initially released as a non-precedent setting Rule 23 order last month, Heineke & Burke convinced the Appellate Court to publish the case into law. “The state appeals court’s decision upholding the dismissal of a wrongful death suit against a West Loop nightclub is now published case law”- stated the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

In a case that involved the stabbing death of a patron at Plush Nightclub, the First District justices granted a motion to publish the case as an opinion, agreeing with the club’s counsel, Heineke & Burke, that the case “aptly” articulated the law on whether past crimes can confer a duty upon a business owner.

The decision was published because it protects responsible restaurant and nightclub operators from liability for targeted third-party attacks when the only prior crimes constitute those “garden variety” disturbances typical of nightlife, even including prior instances of assault and battery.