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  • Del Lago Partners, Inc. v. SmithDel Lago Partners, Inc. v. Smith
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Del Lago Partners, Inc. v. Smith

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


Facts

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

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Willett, J.)

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