Massachusetts Business Owner Arrested for Destroying Evidence Following Patron’s Injury

No business owner wants to be sued, but most understand that the possibility of being held financially responsible for a customer’s injuries is part of doing business. That’s why liability insurance exists, after all.

Unfortunately, one Massachusetts business owner was apparently so zealous to avoid a possible premises liability lawsuit that he is now facing criminal charges. According to police reports, the businessman lied to police, destroyed evidence, and intimidated a witness following a patron’s injury on the premises of his bar.

A 20-year-old student intern apparently fell after becoming intoxicated in the bar, injuring his neck and brain badly enough that he now requires a protective helmet.  When the bar owner found him unconscious at the bottom of a staircase, he allegedly told the manager to carry him to the back parking lot and call 9-1-1. Apparently, no call was made, and the man was later found by a passerby.

How an Accident Led to Criminal Charges

Police say that, when they questioned the business owner about the events, he said that his surveillance video did not show anything. After getting a search warrant, police found a video that allegedly has “plenty of evidence,” including video of two people carrying the injured man out the back door and the business owner manipulating wires on the back of a DVR. The business owner also attempted to pay off a witness, according to the charges filed against him by police.

An Extreme Case, But Beware

While this business owner obviously went too far in trying to protect himself and his business from a potential lawsuit by the student intern who was hurt on the premises, he is certainly not alone in his desire to avoid liability. Although most businesses have insurance that will pay a settlement or judgment rendered against them if they are sued, some business owners don’t want to make a claim out of fear that their premiums will increase. There is also the possibility that a business owner may have chosen to save money by not being fully insured. Since there are untrustworthy business owners out there, we urge anyone who has been injured on the premises of a business (or, for that matter, in an automobile or other accident) to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely it is for evidence to be destroyed, either intentionally as in this situation or accidentally.

Premises Liability and “Slip and Fall” Accidents

Premises liability lawsuits regularly arise when a business neglects to maintain the premises or fails to warn visitors of a dangerous condition on the property. If an injured person can prove that the business or property owner breached the duty of care owed to the public, he or she can receive money damages for injures suffered as a result of the breached duty. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering.

What to Do if You Have Been Injured on Someone’s Premises

The Cape Cod law office of John C. Manoog III can help you or a loved one seek damages for injuries suffered due to a homeowner’s or business owner’s failure to maintain their premises in a safe condition. We have extensive experience in these types of cases and will be glad to discuss your case with you free of charge. We can be reached at 888-262-6664 or via the contact formon this website.

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