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Del Lago Partners, Inc. v. Smith

Texas Supreme Court
307 S.W.3d 762 (2010)


Despite mounting hostilities between a wedding party and another group of patrons, the bar at the Del Lago resort kept serving drinks. Ninety minutes of yelling, cursing, and shoving later, a brawl erupted. When Bradley Smith (plaintiff) entered the melee to help a friend, someone grabbed him in a headlock and slammed his head into a wall, causing serious injury. The resort had a trained security force, but nobody called until after the fight started. A waitress called the front desk for the number, then gave it to a bartender, who finally called security. By the time two security guards and the loss-prevention officer arrived, the fight was over. Smith brought a premises-liability action against the owner, Del Lago Partner Partners, Inc. (defendant). The jury allocated fault 51–49 percent in Smith’s favor, awarding him nearly $1.5 million. The resort appealed after the appellate court affirmed, arguing it had no duty to protect Smith from assault by another bar customer.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Willett, J.)

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