Professional Negligence? Club Sued For Negligent Lap Dance

By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Here’s a novel lawsuit. Lansdale, Pennsylvania’s Patrick Gallagher was enjoying a prenuptial night out with his buddies at a gentleman’s club. As part of the “Bachelor’s Package,” the husband-to-be was invited to lie prostrate on stage while an unnamed exotic dancer shimmied up the dance pole above him. Then, according to his lawyer, Neil T. Murray, Esq., the limber young lass “from a great height … launched herself down onto his abdomen.” The blow was so severe that it ruptured Gallagher’s bladder and caused back and hip injuries. Gallagher is suing the establishment, the aptly named Penthouse Club,for $50,000.00 for medical costs, pain, and humiliation. Big emphasis on the latter, I suspect.

Gallagher faces a myriad of problems not the least of which is some contributing conduct of his own which more conservative members of the jury might conclude is assumption of the risk of his injuries. The very act of lying under a stripper while she dangles above you might seem a tad risky in some quarters though it apparently titillates our presumably young plaintiff.

Not too surprisingly, the Penthouse Club is no stranger to the courthouse. Last November, seven dancers and a manager at the club were also arrested on prostitution charges. With incidents like this, they may also be violating FAA regulations for risky “flying” over populated areas.

Source: New York Daily News

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

20 thoughts on “Professional Negligence? Club Sued For Negligent Lap Dance

  1. I believe he has no case because of assumption of risk. The idea of waiting under a pole for a dancer to descend to give him a lap dance is a stupid one. Then again I think the idea of risque bachelor parties is stupid too. I’ve been in many a grooms wedding party ad while we might have gotten together at a bar for a few drinks with the groom, that was the idea of a Bachelor Party. no back rooms, no strippers and no sexual shenanigans.
    I don’t think a male should approach the end of bachelorhood with the idea that he is losing his freedom. If he does he shouldn’t be getting married. I’m hardly a sexual prude and indeed my single years proved it, but this isn’t a right of passage. It is immaturity influenced by media comedies. If you do something stupid, that a reasonable man would see was fraught with problems, then you must take responsibility for your behavior.

    Of course the facts could be manipulated to mitigate his own contribution to this mishap, but these facts are what we have.

  2. If the exotic dancer did launch herself, as opposed to losing her grip, then this doesn’t sound like a normal lap dance.

  3. If she fell off a balance beam then it is a question of assumed risk. If she lost her grip it is a question of no negligence because one stripper cannot always keep a grip on the tool in question and not be distracted by size or change in shape or size.

  4. I’d be fascinated to know what the lucky guy’s blood alcohol content was, as well as that of the rest of his party.

    Strip clubs routinely overserve, and I’m sure it would take little effort to establish diminished responsibility due to impaired judgment as a direct consequence of the club’s actions in overserving.

  5. MikeS—–rite of passage, we’re not out in traffic. :-)
    If only I could spot my own mispellings.

    Dredd—–was there suspicion of collateral damage?

    Speaking of traffic: Two rounds around the Arc d’Triomphe would leave you wall-eyed. Yield to trafftic entering from the right while braking for the guy to the left, where you are turning too.

  6. I would be surprised if these guys were sober. Interesting case, but I would not want to argue for either side! David, I think if the dancer did launch herself at him, the assumption of risk might be minimized, but I shudder at the pictures and props used during trial! :)

  7. A person on stage is to not be treated like a professional wrestler . What was dine to his innocent self was wrong, and should not be done to anyone ever again. Like most he had a back problem made suddenly worse by what what done to him. He needs U,C,S, care upcspine, practitioners or upper cervical heath centers, put in your zip code All need this before things get really bad.

  8. When entering sporting events, such as baseball games, one can read the back of the ticket where there is a waiver of damages for injuries in consideration of the participation in the event. I don’t see this being the case here, though it is not necessary for a defense. I would say that without any clear waivers or guidelines in the matter both sides share a measure of liability.

    If the chub’s employees invited the plaintiff to the stage, he would have an implied expectation of safety like other patrons in the establishment. But, if once there he engaged in risky behavior, it is mitigated. I suppose once could have an expectation of safety if the girls were slithering up the pole regularly and did not fall in the 300 times the Johns witnessed them doing so it could be anticipated as being a safe event.

    I think it might also be helpful to look at this event as just an event at a business and keep the debauchery out of it. The plaintiff is not diminished in his claim just because of the sex nature of the defendant. Though his claim of humiliation is without merit. How could he be humiliated when he chose to walk into the club and hop up on the stage and be an actor in it?

  9. I had this exact same thing happen to me. That’s why I only have one eye. My attorney in Colorado sucked. But that’s a whole other lawsuit pending. He tried pole dancing with me, just because I happen to be a catholic priest. Not all priest are gay, some are, some are not, most of my friends like women.

  10. Perhaps on her approach to the strip landing, the gentleman in question had constructed a pylon to guide her flight in. Its sudden appearance and obstruction caused an unfortunate flight change.

    Both parties can claim mitigating circumstances. He was being helpful, and his help instigated the flight correction. :)

  11. Darren S,
    The humiliation factor may be the result of damage to and/or loss of use of certain private parts. In that case both he and his afianced could could have a case for damages. I’m not that sure if the stripper could personally be charged with some sort of assault. That would have to be addressed by someone better versed in the penile, uh, penal code.

  12. MikeS, You need to stop being so judgemental and paternalistic. I don’t frequent titty bars[Gentleman’s Club is more than just Orwellian] but this is America. To each their own. It’s all consenting adults. When did progressives become so Victorian?

  13. I don;t know, seems if he was drunk the damage might have been less, like you hear with a lot of auto accidents.
    (I live in Lansdale, I didn;t know we had such a club here.)

  14. Mike S.
    I agree with your thoughts about not going into a marriage with concerns that you will be forever trapped to one person. In this case, while the groom to be was not acting too intelligently and may have some negligence of his own to deal with in the action, if the stripper and the club allowed dangerous activities to occur, then they should be held responsible for their reckless behavior.

  15. rafflaw, So you don’t believe in the “forsaking all other.” I didn’t look upon it as being “trapped” but I also didn’t look it upon it as a moral relativist either. It meant, this is the last one woman w/ whom I’ll have sex. What did it mean to you? Now, my first generation feminist bride in 1977 would not vow to obey, which was fine w/ me. But, we both vowed to forsake all others and meant it.

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