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Wantagh bar not responsible for patron's fatal fight injuries outside the premises, ruling finds

Shooters in Wantagh.

Shooters in Wantagh. Credit: Meghan Giannotta

An appeals court has ruled a Wantagh bar isn't responsible for the 2012 death of a Levittown volunteer firefighter who suffered fatal injuries in a fight outside the business.

Keith Satriana, 45, slipped into a coma  and died  at a hospital 17 days after an October 2012 encounter outside Shooters Tiki Bar & Sports Grill as a result of brain injuries "sustained in the fight," authorities said.

In 2014, a jury acquitted bar patron Robert Roll, then 31, of Baldwin, of a misdemeanor charge of third-degree assault in connection with the fight with Satriana after Roll put forth a self-defense claim at his trial.

On Wednesday, a state appeals court in Brooklyn upheld a state Supreme Court decision dismissing the business from a lawsuit Satriana's estate filed against the bar and Roll, claiming negligence and wrongful death.

The ruling said the bar submitted evidence showing the fight was a sudden and unforeseeable event that happened on a public roadway "outside of their premises and control."

Authorities said following the fight that Roll punched Satriana in the head, before Satriana fell and struck his head on pavement.

While Satriana's family had urged Nassau prosecutors to file more serious charges against Roll, a district attorney's office spokesman said after Roll's acquittal in Hempstead district court that the criminal case was closed.

A legal expert told Newsday before the trial that it would have been difficult for prosecutors to justify a manslaughter or murder case based on the evidence authorities had documented in court papers.

 After the verdict, Satriana's ex-wife, who was raising the couple's son and daughter, had said she would try to get justice through a wrongful-death lawsuit.

The plaintiff’s attorney, Michael Asta of Manhattan, said Thursday that the part of the case against Roll remained pending and his client planned to move forward with it.

“We disagree with the court’s decision . . . We felt the bar had responsibility for what happened that night,” he added of the appellate decision.

The bar's law firm didn't immediately comment Thursday.

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