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Is a bar in Alberta liable if a patron assaults another patron?

An Alberta Court looked at the issue of whether a bar was liable for an unprovoked assault in the case of Allnutt v Carter, 2021 ABQB 51 . One of the patrons of a bar assaulted another one, causing serious injuries. The assailant did not appear intoxicated when he arrived and did not cause a prior disturbance.

At paragraph 92 the court highlighted the main issue of the case:

...Has Hudsons failed to meet the standard of care on it to mitigate the foreseeable risk created by potential torts of the third party?...

The court then said at paragraph 112:

...I agree with the weight of the authorities that in the absence of a prior disturbance or inappropriate behavior an unprovoked assault is not reasonably foreseeable....

Each case involving potential social host liability of a bar turns on its own facts. The individual in this case did not engage in any behavior which should have caused the bar alarm.

If you have questions about occupier's liability, please feel free to contact us.

The information contained in this article is not legal advice. No solicitor client relationship is formed through this article. The reader is encouraged to retain counsel for advice in these matters.

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