State Supreme Court Justice Denise Molia ruled earlier this month that East Wind Caterers and AAA Security could not have foreseen a surprise ninja attack, and therefore were not negligent in failing to prevent it.
"The owner of a public establishment has no duty to protect patrons against unforseeable and unexpected assaults," Molia wrote in her decision.
The incident happened at a Halloween party in 2006, according to the decision dismissing a suit by Michael J. Faust. He claimed that an unknown man in a black ninja costume slashed him with a sword during a brief altercation, injuring four fingers.
The unknown ninja was a defendant in the suit, identified only as John Doe.
According to Faust's deposition, he drank six or seven beers over the course of 3 1/2 hours at the party. At about 10:30 p.m., he said he and his wife headed for the rear lobby, intending to go outside for a smoke.
In the rear lobby, Faust testified he heard yelling and saw the man in the ninja outfit waving his sword over his head. Others were running away.
Faust "further testified that there was nothing preventing him from turning around and returning to the ballroom but that he instead tried to stop the man by grabbing him and holding him in a bear hug from the side," Molia wrote.
Faust did not fill out an incident report while at East Wind.
Faust and officials of AAA Security, which is no longer in business, could not be reached for comment. East Wind and attorneys in the case did not respond to requests for comment.
The East Wind's general manager, Louis Ambrosio, testified in his deposition that he never saw anyone dressed as a ninja, although security did break up a brief fight during the party. After the fight, Ambrosio said he heard someone had been injured with a sword.
Walter Degoyler, principal of AAA Security, testified in a deposition that his company's role was to break up any fights and call police if necessary. It wasn't the company's job to screen for weapons, he said.
Molia said there was no reason East Wind or AAA Security should have expected or prevented such an attack.