Monday, March 20, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Busboy Uses Good Whine to Revive Assault Claim

A restaurant may be liable after its owner hit a busboy with a wine bottle, a Florida appeals court ruled.

Several employees of La Dorada Coral Gables submitted affidavits stating that owner Jose Cabeza was verbally and physically abusive with his employees.

Busboy Jose Diaz sued Cabeza and the restaurant for assault and battery, claiming Cabeza poked him with a fork and hit him with aMay wine bottle.

The trial court agreed with the restaurant that it should be dismissed from the lawsuit because there could be no legitimate business reason for Cabeza to contact his employee in that way.

Florida's third district appeals court disagreed, however, and reversed the decision.

"Based on the allegations and the depositions and affidavits, a jury could reasonably conclude that Cabeza employed aggressive behavior to make his staff work harder and faster," Chief Judge Juan Ramirez Jr. wrote for the court. "Because that is a permitted inference from the stated facts, there is an issue for the jury."

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.