Cotterhill v. Bafile

In Cotterhill v. Bafile, 177 Ariz. 76, 78-79, 865 P.2d 120, 122-23 (App. 1993), the Court concluded that a bar owner could be held liable for one patron's reasonably foreseeable intentional torts against another patron. In that case, Cotterhill and two friends were drinking alcohol and playing pool at the bar. Id. at 77, 865 P.2d at 121. During the evening there was "open antagonism" for more than fifteen minutes between them and another group of bar patrons, but the bartender failed to take any action to calm the situation or ask anyone to leave. Id. at 78, 865 P.2d at 122. After Cotterhill was severely beaten on the premises, the bartender made no attempt to determine if he had been injured. Id. In finding the bar owner could be liable to Cotterhill, Division One applied Restatement 344 and concluded "a reasonable jury could have inferred that the probability of a fight was evident for several minutes before it occurred, and that the bartender neglected to take reasonable action to avert violence." Id. Thus, the court found that the duty to maintain safe premises under 344 required protection from certain harms caused by other customers. Id. at 78-79, 865 P.2d at 122-23.