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'Bar Rescue' Lawsuit Alleges Setup, Battery; but Is There Proof?

By Jenny Tsay, Esq. on April 09, 2014 | Last updated on February 06, 2023
"Bar Rescue" host Jon Taffer, his wife, and the production company of the show have been sued by a bar owner for an alleged conspiracy to assault the owner. Dr. Paul Wilkes, the owner of a bar that was featured on the show, is claiming that Taffer and the producers conspired to have him hit on Taffer's wife and get attacked by Taffer for doing so, according to Deadline Hollywood. So how will Wilkes prove the setup?

What's Civil Conspiracy?

Unlike criminal conspiracy, being liable for civil conspiracy won't result in jail time. Conspiracy may be alleged in a civil case if the plaintiff suffered an injury as a result of the setup. In general, civil conspiracy isn't usually the cause of action, but the existence of a conspiracy may be used to determine the liabilities and amount of damages of co-defendants. In California, for there to be a civil conspiracy, there must be an agreement between two or more persons to commit a wrongful act. The agreement can be made in writing, orally, or even implied by the parties' conduct. It's not enough for one of the parties to know about the setup, he or she must act in cooperation with another for the conspiracy claim to work. Wilkes is claiming that Taffer, Taffer's wife, and the production company conspired to have Taffer cause harmful and offensive contact to him, according to Deadline Hollywood.

Proving the Setup

In his complaint, Wilkes alleges that the producers encouraged him to act outlandishly and make "offensive comments about women." He further claims that the producers encouraged him to flirt with Taffer's wife under the premise that Taffer wasn't around -- when in actuality, Taffer was apparently watching the entire scene from an SUV, Deadline Hollywood reports. Although Taffer claims he wasn't aware that the producers told Wilkes to hit on his wife, he allegedly attacked Taffer as a result. So Wilkes must prove that Taffer, Taffer's wife, and the production company had conspired for Taffer to intentionally harm Wilkes -- presumably for better ratings. The "Bar Rescue" lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles. We'll see if Taffer and co.'s attorneys can rescue the reality TV crew from liability. Follow FindLaw for Consumers on Facebook and Twitter (@FindLawConsumer). Related Resources:

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