Aussie Club Must Pay For Assault

A patron successfully sued The Beat nightclub in Brisbane, Australia’s Fortitude Valley over an alleged attack by a bouncer.

Gavin Ryan, 33, won $37,452 in damages this week in the Brisbane District Court. He had sued for $100,000, alleging that he and his friend Phillip Tyson were attacked in January 2002 by Vaivasa Aperu, who was acquitted of the assault during a criminal case in 2003.

Ryan lost four front teeth and spent $14,500 getting new ones. He claimed the attack affected his sex life, making him nervous with women.

Beat owner Ann Street Holdings Pty Ltd claimed no responsibility, arguing that Aperu’s alleged attack was a personal beef and not related to his employment in the club.

District judge Charles Brabagon found the club was liable as the assault was “directly connected” to the authority the bouncer had as a result of his position. (According to court papers, Ryan said he and Tyson were asked to come back into the club to help eject an unruly patron.)

However, the judge emphasised that Anne Street Holdings had not been negligent, pointing out that it had no advance knowledge of how the bouncer, who is no longer at the club, would have behaved.

– Bryan Jones