A Suffolk County woman is suing a Manhattan restaurant after she said she tore her ACL during a ride on its signature attraction, a mechanical bull.
The suit, filed June 16 in New York Supreme Court, seeks unspecified damages and accuses the midtown bar Johnny Utah’s and its employees and owners of negligence.
Jocelyn Burmeister said she visited the restaurant, which claims to be the “home of NYC’s ONLY mechanical bull,” on March 18 for a party. According to the suit, she was “visibly intoxicated,” but employees still allowed her to enter the bull ring and attempt to ride the bull. Burmeister said in the suit an employee started the bull as she was still mounting it, flinging her off.
When Burmeister sought medical attention, doctors said she had torn her ACL, and she underwent surgery to repair it, said Alexander Karasik, a Brooklyn attorney representing Burmeister.
“She’s going through physical therapy,” he said in an interview Tuesday.
Johnny Utah’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment. According to the company’s website, patrons must show a legal ID and sign a waiver before riding the bull, which is operated by a “trained employee” in an area “completely lined in padding.”
Karasik said his client does not recall signing a waiver.
Burmeister is not the first to file a suit against the restaurant. Johnny Utah’s has faced other suits from patrons who said they were injured attempting to ride the bull, including in 2011 and 2014.
Karasik was involved in the 2014 case, in which a man said he broke an ankle and tore a ligament when he was thrown from the bull. That suit was settled for $100,000.