The Juniper Point Eatery (“The Juniper”, or “JPE”) is a licensed café located on the Sunshine Coast (Queensland). The Juniper’s licensee is Perry Juniper. A modest café in an old, historical building, The Juniper has a primary restaurant area, a small private function room and an outdoor garden. Meals are available both inside and outside in the garden area. In accordance with the liquor licence, The Juniper can accommodate up to 100 patrons at a time.

Well known for its comfortable community atmosphere, The Juniper holds regular ‘Open Mic & Cheap Cocktails in the Garden’ sessions for local families. These sessions have proved to be very popular for the Juniper, with customers flocking to enjoy acoustic sounds every second Saturday afternoon from 2pm-5pm. During this time, the cafe provides full meals from both the main service counter and the cocktail service counter in the garden.  The atmosphere at these sessions has always been relaxed with the majority of customers comprised of families, groups of friends, and young couples. In the 8 years Perry has been the licensee, there have not been any prior incidents of violence between customers. As the cafe is a generally quiet venue, it is only when the private function room is hired out that Perry ensures a security guard is in attendance.

On Saturday 5th August 2017, at approximately 2pm, Don O’Hugh, a 30 year old male, arrived at The Juniper with his family. They were meeting their friends Sascha and Tobias for a catch up and an afternoon of good music over a few cocktails.

Steven Sun, Branch Connolly and Cady Longmire were also at The Juniper that afternoon as they were visiting the Sunshine Coast for the weekend. They had arrived at the cafe around midday and had ordered a number of beers and spirits and some nachos to eat in the garden. They were noisy, swearing and a bit rowdy for most of the afternoon, but on Perry’s account, had been keeping to themselves.

Both groups were seated at tables adjacent to each other. Towards the end of the Open Mic Session, an argument suddenly ensued between Don’s wife and Cady. Perry says he heard the sound of a bottle being smashed and turned around from the cocktail counter to see Branch brandishing it in the air while Steven seemed to be having words with Tobias.  Don stood up and told Steven to “back the f*ck off, mate”. Perry walked over and grabbed the broken bottle at which point Steven turned his aggressive flow of words toward him. Perry says the behaviour of Steven, Branch and Cady had become, at this point, very aggressive, and he was worried that a full blown fight would break out. He told the troublesome trio they had to leave. Clearly agitated, Stevens says angrily to Perry: “That guy was a complete f*-ing dickhead! I’d love to punch his face in proper! And we don’t need your f*-ing help getting home, mate! We’re going back to our Motel”. He points in the direction of the Red Pony motel that Perry knew was a few streets away.

Perry watched to make sure the trio walked away from JPE’s premises in the direction of the Motel.

Don and his family left The Juniper some 15 minutes later, exiting the café by the side entrance direct to the cafe’s car park. As Don walked to his car, Steven ran into the carpark and stabbed Don multiple times with a knife.

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Don says that during the time between his family sitting down at their table and the altercation with Steven, Branch and Cady, the trio had become increasingly louder and aggressive towards each other and making rude comments to other patrons.

As a result of the incident, Don has suffered severe physical injuries and has since been diagnosed with clinical depression following his incapacitation. His injuries have prevented him from returning to work full time. Steven, Branch and Cady have not been located and no action has commenced against them.

Plaintiff’s claim

Don O’Hugh (“the Plaintiff”) has commenced proceedings against The Juniper Point Eatery to recover damages for personal injury and consequential psychological injury.

It is the Plaintiff’s case that: • The Juniper Point Eatery, as occupier of the premises, owes a duty of care to the Plaintiff to ensure the premises are safe and to take reasonable measures to control rowdy and intoxicated patrons from criminally injuring other patrons as per cases such as Modbury Triangle Shopping Centre v Anzil; Adeels Palace v Moubarak; Wagstaff v Haslam. • The Juniper Point Eatery has breached its duty of care by failing to provide a security guard on the evening in question (particularly as The Juniper employs security at other times); • The Juniper Point Eatery has breached its duty of care by failing to ensure the offender had left the premises and/or ensuring the Plaintiff was safely escorted to his car. • The Juniper Point Eatery’s breach of duty caused the plaintiff’s harm comprising physical injury and consequential psychological injury.  Your instructions

You act for the Juniper Point Eatery, the Defendant in this matter. As per the Assignment 1 task sheet, you are asked to prepare short written and oral submissions in response to the Plaintiff’s case set out above. In your submissions you are not required to address defences or remedies/awards of damages or the potential liability of anyone other than the Defendant. Arguments should focus on the core elements of negligence in response to the Plaintiff’s case.

 
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