Negligence and dram shop claims barred by the Fireman’s Rule

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Babes Showclub, Jaba, Inc., and James B. Altman (collectively, “Appellants”) appeal the denial of their motion to dismiss the complaint filed by Patrick Lair and Lisa Lair (collectively, “the Lairs”) for injuries that Patrick, an Indianapolis police officer, allegedly suffered at the hands of a Babes Showclub patron while responding to a complaint on the club’s premises. Appellants contend that the Lairs’ claims are barred by Indiana’s Fireman Rule.

Conclusion (slip op. at 27-28):  We conclude that the Lairs’ general negligence, negligent security, and common law dram shop claims are barred by the Fireman’s Rule. We reverse the denial of Appellants’ motion to dismiss.

Key Anlaysis (slip op. at 26-27):  In Woodruff, our supreme court determined that a landowner owes no duty to a firefighter “except that of abstaining from any positive wrongful act which may result in his injury . . . Here, the Lairs have not alleged that Appellants committed any positive wrongful act that resulted in Patrick’s injuries. If anything, the “positive wrongful act” in this case was committed by the patron who allegedly assaulted Patrick.

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Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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