'Somewhat deluded' man awarded $200k after bar assault
A man assaulted at a Sydney venue by another patron who was "too drunk to be there" has been awarded more than $200,000 in damages after suing the owner and security contractor.
Clinton Chadwick sued Bondi Beach Food and Crossguard Group after he was assaulted at the now-defunct The Bucket List Bondi in December 2017.
Mr Chadwick accused both of failing in their duty of care after he was assaulted by another patron.
"This patron ... assaulted (Mr Chadwick) so viciously that he became unconscious," Acting Justice Michael Elkaim said in his NSW Supreme Court judgment published on Thursday.
The assault continued as Mr Chadwick lay on the ground.
The man who assaulted him pleaded guilty and was not named in the lawsuit, but rather gave evidence in support.
"I was very drunk ... too drunk to be there really," he said.
The man also gave evidence he and his friends had been evicted from the pub across the road from The Bucket List before the assault.
Another witness, who worked at The Bucket List for several years, conceded the venue was suffering "a problem with alcohol-fuelled violence" at least three months before the assault.
Her evidence "gave significant weight to the proposition that the premises were operated to maximise the sale of alcohol regardless of the impact on security," Justice Elkaim said.
During the trial it also emerged the staff provided by Crossguard on the night were actually RSA Marshalls.
"There were, therefore, no security guards available if needed," the judge said.
The two companies alleged contributory negligence on Mr Chadwick's part and fought against paying damages, accusing him of instigating the assault.
The judge did not accept that, saying it was clear there was a verbal altercation preceding any physical altercation.
He pinned Mr Chadwick's contribution at 20 per cent.
"It is far exceeded by that of the defendants in allowing abusive, aggressive and obviously intoxicated persons to be on the premises," the judge said.
The defendants also made a concerted attack on Mr Chadwick's claim, attacking his credibility and his business skills.
It included disputing Mr Chadwick's claim he was unable to work, with the companies noting he had made tens of thousands of dollars posting pictures on subscription adult-content site OnlyFans over a two-year period.
The judge said a good deal of caution was needed over his evidence but did not consider Mr Chadwick "an overly dishonest witness".
"Rather, I thought him to be a man somewhat deluded by his own image, his capacity to be a successful businessman and his perception of what his future might have been but for the injury," Justice Elkaim wrote.
"(He) is certainly a very competent influencer."
Justice Elkaim awarded Mr Chadwick damages of $200,706.40.
His "contributory negligence" of 20 per cent meant the figure was about $50,000 lower than the judge's original calculation.
Bondi Beach Food and Crossguard Group were also ordered to pay Mr Chadwick's costs.