Officer’s lawsuit against Showclub

Professional emergency responders are not entitled to sue for the negligence that created the situation requiring the response — even when the negligence involves an adult entertainment club’s serving of alcohol to a minor, under the Indiana Supreme Court’s December 15, 2009 decision in Babes Showclub v. Lair. Police officer Patrick Lair sued Babes Showclub, alleging he was assaulted by its underaged patron while he was responding to a complaint about the patron at the club.  In not allowing Lair’s claim to proceed, the high court distinguished its last “fireman’s rule” decision in Heck v. Robey, 659 N.E.2d 498 (Ind. 1995), where the court allowed a claim by a paramedic against a drunk driver who had driven his car into a ravine. The paramedic sued, alleging the driver became violent as he attempted the rescue. “The fireman’s rule did not bar Robey’s claim because Heck’s actions were separate and apart from his neglient act that brought Robey to the scene. … Heck’s post-wreck acts exposed him to liability depsite the plaintiff’s status as an emergency responder,” the court noted. In Showclub, in contrast, the court concluded the plaintiff failed to allege any negligence other than that which brought the emergency response.