A man who was critically injured in an accident is pursuing recovery through the Texas dram shop law.
A dram shop law enables injured parties to file a legal claim against an establishment that continued to serve alcohol to a person who was clearly intoxicated if the person being served ultimately causes an accident.
A restaurant in the Houston Midtown neighborhood is now facing legal action under the Texas dram shop law after a man was paralyzed in an accident caused by a patron of that establishment.
The passenger in the accident suffered life-changing injuries, and he argues that Axelrad Beer Garden improperly served the car driver too much alcohol before the October 2017 accident. Documents filed in the lawsuit say that the driver then recklessly took the vehicle along Westheimer in Houston.
The dram shop law legal claim argues that the driver hit the rear of another car before swerving around that vehicle and hitting a street sign and then a tree. Ultimately, the passenger in that vehicle became paralyzed as a direct result of the accident..
The plaintiff alleges that the establishment should not have continued to serve the driver alcohol, arguing that the staff were encouraged to give alcohol to the driver long after it was clear he was intoxicated.
The dram shop law accident victim says that in addition to the maintaining responsibility for his injuries, the beer garden should be held accountable for a practice that puts others on the road at risk.
The Dram Shop Act in Texas became effective in 1987. Until that point in time, sellers or servers of alcohol were not considered responsible for the actions of an intoxicated patron. This meant that sellers held no liability if a customer was over-served alcohol and caused an accident as a result. Instead, the individual who caused the accident was classified as responsible.
However, the dram shop law tried to strike a balance between the actions of an intoxicated person and the role of litigation affecting establishment owners.
Anyone who files a legal claim against a restaurant or bar under the dram shop law has to show that the staff continued to serve alcohol to a patron even when it was clear that the person in question was extremely intoxicated.
This is defined under the law as presenting a clear danger to themselves and others, such that it could be reasonably anticipated that such a person might cause an accident with critical injuries.
A customer usually will need to have a high blood alcohol content to be categorized as “obviously intoxicated” versus simply “legally intoxicated.”
A party who has been injured due to another person’s negligence has grounds to file a lawsuit against anyone liable.
If you or someone you know has been seriously hurt in an accident by a person under the influence, contact the lawyers at McDonald Worley today.
Note: McDonald Worley is not representing the plaintiff in this lawsuit.