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Patchogue is often known for it’s nightlife. Once the sun goes down, you will begin to notice restaurants moving tables and turning on colorful lights. The problem is these restaurants do not have the license or permission to turn their restaurant into a nightclub. Patchogue Village Attorney Brian Egan defines a nightclub or cabaret as “The permanent or temporary removal of chairs from such an establishment to permit any live entertainment, disc jockeys, dancing, [during] hours of operation beyond normal times of dining”.

As a result in June 2018, the Patchogue Village Trustee Board have voted to ban nightclubs on Main St in Patchogue Village. The hope is to make the downtown area much safer. There is only one legally approved restaurant in Patchogue called the Stereo Garden to operate as a nightclub. The rest of them are mostly restaurants clearing their tables and chairs to illegally become like nightclubs. Paul Pontieri, the mayor of Patchogue says, “Nightlife in the village has grown to a point where some limited controls need to be put in place to help manage it. This piece of legislation does that.” The high amount of nightlife in Patchogue definitely poses potential safety hazards. It creates 3 big potential problems.

1. Fire Hazards / Premises Liability

Every property owner is responsible for the safety of anyone that enters their establishment. So if someone gets injured due to an unsafe condition, it is the owner who is responsible for the injury. The problem with many of the restaurants operating as nightclubs is that they are now operating as an establishment they do not have the licenses and approval for. This could easily cause overcrowding.

Overcrowding can cause a number of issues. For one, buildings are required to have a yearly inspection by the fire department to note potential fire hazards so that the owner can make the building safe. When Patchogue restaurants convert their building into a nightclub, they are no longer under the same conditions that the fire department has inspected. Likely, the amount of people that crowd a nightclub exceeds the maximum occupancy. If the worst case scenario happens and there is a fire, it could be extremely difficult to get an overcrowded building of people outside where it is safe.

The other safety hazard with overcrowding is pushing, shoving or even trampling. This is more likely with nightclubs having an increased chance of intoxicated people present. If this occurs and results in an injury however, it is the owner of the premises who is responsible. They have created an unsafe conditions by overcrowding their establishment beyond what is considered safe.

2. Assault and Battery

Legal Dictionary defines Assault & Battery: “Assault is an act that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent, harmful, or offensive contact. The act consists of a threat of harm accompanied by an apparent, present ability to carry out the threat. Battery is a harmful or offensive touching of another” ( Some have commented on the fact that the nightlife in Patchogue has resulted in fights. One Patchogue resident commented, “The nightclub ban is probably going to stop, you know, a lot of fights. People get drunk, and they take the fights outside. So the nightclub ban is actually a smart ban.”.

Alcohol intoxication is known to increase chances of fighting. Over-drinking decreases inhibitions and could increase aggression. This means that even small misunderstandings could turn into a fist fight. And for criminal offices, voluntary intoxication (getting drunk) is not a defense for an assault or battery case. If you receive an injury because an intoxicated person physically assaulted you, you are entitled for compensation.

3. Drunk Driving

When people are out late, they are probably drinking. Restaurants in Patchogue are operating as nightclubs because of the amount of money they make from selling alcohol. The high amounts of nightlife in Patchogue increase the risk of people who are over-drinking. Ultimately, this could lead to more intoxicated driving on the road. Intoxicated drivers are incredibly dangerous to share the road with.

We recently discussed in an earlier blog post how to tell if a drunk driver is on the road and how you should respond. Pay special attention if you are driving near Patchogue village at night time. Hopefully, this ban reduces the number of intoxicated drivers in eastern Long Island.

Our Patchogue Office

Palermo Law has represented many injured individuals including those affected by premises negligence, assault, and drunk driving. The Mayor and Board of Trustees in Patchogue are implementing steps to make Patchogue Village a safer environment at night. However, if you have suffered an injury in Eastern Long Island, we have an office right in Patchogue and can set up a free case evaluation so you can receive your necessary compensation.

Palermo Tuohy Bruno recently helped a Slip and Fall victim receive financial justice for the losses she endured due to her injury. Our client was walking in a New York City parking garage on a rainy day. She slipped and fractured her elbow on the staircase of the building. The fracture required surgery.

We held the premises owner liable for their negligence in keeping the occupants of their building safe from harm. The staircase itself was in need of attention and perhaps retreading by the building’s owner. The treading on the steps was worn out. And as other occupants climbed the stairs that day, tracking in rain from the outside, the staircase became slippery and dangerous.

Palermo Tuohy Bruno obtained a settlement of $350,000 for our client to help her recuperate for her losses. Slip and Fall accidents are extremely common – especially in the wintertime. Not all building owners are responsible enough to ensure the safety of their occupants. Rainy, snowy, and icy days are upon us. Make sure you take it slow when you’re walking across stairs, into lobbies that are hardwood or tiled, across lots that may have black ice on them, etc. And if you come across a slippery spot on the ground, tell others around you.

If you yourself ever get into a Slip and Fall Accident, you should know what to do, even if you don’t feel you’ve been injured.

What To Do If You’re In A Slip And Fall Accident

You may not feel pain right away. But later, it might hit you. Even if you don’t believe you are hurt, follow these steps to ensure you have a good case:

If you do end up making a claim against a premises owner for a Slip and Fall Accident, you will likely be called by the insurance adjuster and/or attorney of the premises owner. They’ll likely be real nice to you initially in attempts to gain your trust. But keep in mind – they are not on your side. It’s literally their job to make sure you don’t get the financial compensation you’re entitled to. They will ask you questions – sometimes difficult ones – and many times try to trick you. Never downplay your injury or make small talk about it. They will use what they can against you in order to weaken your case. Since it’s their job to do so, you can be sure they know what they’re doing. This is why it’s so important to consult with a Slip and Fall Attorney right away. If you have an attorney, put any insurance adjuster or attorney in contact with them.

Attorneys who are experienced in handling Slip and Fall Accident claims know what will likely be asked of you, and how insurance companies trick individuals with difficult and sometimes seemingly odd questions in order to weaken your case.

Remember, personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee – meaning you don’t have to pay any upfront costs for their legal assistance unless they win your case. There is no harm in retaining an experienced Slip and Fall Attorney. In fact, there’s likely harm in not retaining a lawyer. Victims of personal injury who have a lawyer representing them see, on average, 300% more financial compensation than those who retain a lawyer.

It’s almost winter. The rain has been heavy lately. And Slip and Fall Accidents are likely to occur. Know what to do should this ever happen to you. One icy patch of black ice and one step could literally destroy your future. Remember these steps, share these steps with others (coworkers, friends, etc.) and stay safe.


“What to Do After a Slip and Fall Accident.” FreeAdvice. FreeAdvice, 24 Feb. 2015. Web. 01 Dec. 2016. <>.

“The Most Dangerous Holiday of the Year” – July 4th. That is, according to Forbes Magazine. And they’re right. It’s 1 out of maybe 10 holidays that almost all Americans celebrate. The great John Adams saw to that, when he declared July 4th to be a “great anniversary Festival…solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” Guns + Fires + Parades = Danger. At least he states the importance of wearing shoes.

All jest aside, it’s a dangerous holiday and we need to recognize that and learn how to celebrate safely. Let’s make a very simple, straightforward list of why July 4th is literally one of the deadliest holiday weekends in America. Let us also make some suggestions on how to be safer this July 4th.

If You’re Not a Pyrotechnician, Don’t Light Fireworks.

There’s good reason for the stringent laws surrounding pyrotechnics. A lot of people simply don’t realize that they’re handling a weapon. They’re dangerous, just like cars, and for that reason they should not be handled by someone who is not a licensed professional. Some enthusiasts purchase illegal fireworks, which have grave potential to injure anyone in the vicinity when they go off, especially if handled improperly. Some of these illegal fireworks yield more firepower than those found at professional firework shows, handled by professionals.

But believe it or not, the fireworks that most often cause injuries are the smaller ones…especially if they have short fuses and are handled incorrectly. We’re not saying smaller fireworks are more dangerous, but think about the kids. Even a sparkler can cause serious burns if not handled properly. Just check out this Newsweek Article on Firework Injuries – they are meant to be handled by professionals and only professionals. So, simply stated, if you want to see fireworks, go to a fireworks show.

Don’t get burned.

If we’re going to talk about burns, we can’t forget about barbecues. They seem innocent, right? That is, until you have kids running around – and that’s usually the case on July 4th. It’s a really good idea to keep the barbecue area, and the area between the barbecue and the food table, closed off. A child running into the chef or the barbeque itself can cause serious injury. A little caution tape could help, as well as making it very clear to the children that the cooking area is off limits.

Keep the pool safe.

The kids get hyped. They’re with their best friends, neighborly friends, their cousins, and they’re likely overly excited for pool time. If you’re unsure of their swimming abilities, make them wear floaties. It’s one thing when you and your child are by yourselves hanging by the pool and you have a close eye on them…it’s a totally different ball field when your pool becomes public. The last thing you want is a swimming pool accident. And then there’s the heat. The heat can seriously get to you, your children, and your pets. If you start to feel nauseous, feel a rapid heartbeat or start to breathe at a rapid pace, get to a cool place quickly. This could mean heat exhaustion. Keep your children, your pets, and yourself hydrated – it’s looking to be quite hot this July 4th. And don’t forget your sunscreen either.

Never drink and drive, and don’t let anyone around you do it either.

Don’t be that person, and don’t let that person next to you be that person. Pensicola News Journal reported in 2014 that roughly 40% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents recorded over the previous years happened on one day: July 4th. Is that not staggering? So, we can safely say this holiday is not a good time to be on the road.

This year, July 4th occurs on a Monday. Not so convenient, right? Remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving. You may end up driving across town to that block party yourself. You may end up losing your inhibitions and having a few drinks, but you still need your car for work tomorrow. Luckily, there’s a service located on Long Island that will literally drive to you and drive your car home so you have it ready for work the next day. IDriveYourCar has put together a simplistic business model to save lives. Palermo Tuohy Bruno, P.L.L.C. does not endorse this service, but we do believe it’s worth looking into.

We urge you to take all of these tips into consideration. We fought hard for our right to freedom. And we have every right to celebrate it happily. But it’s crucial to recognize how dangerous this holiday can be, and to take the right precautions. Have a happy 4th of July, but make sure it’s a safe one.