Goodwin v. Yeakle's Sports Bar & Grill, IncAnnotate this Case
After a shooting that occurred at a bar, Plaintiffs filed a complaint against the bar alleging negligence. The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of the bar, concluding that the shooter’s criminal acts were unforeseeable, and therefore, the bar had no duty to anticipate and take steps to prevent the shooter’s conduct. The court of appeals reversed, declaring that reasonable foreseeability was not part of the analysis with respect to the bar’s duty. The Supreme Court granted transfer and affirmed the judgment of the trial court, holding (1) the trial court in this case employed a now-discarded analytical tool in determining the question of foreseeability; (2) in a negligence action, where foreseeability is an element of duty, this necessarily means the court must determine the question of foreseeability as a matter of law and must engage in a general analysis of the broad type of plaintiff and harm involved without regard to the facts of the actual occurrence; and (3) the trial court properly granted summary judgment in the bar’s favor because a shooting inside a neighborhood bar is not foreseeable as a matter of law.