In recent weeks, a pair of interesting wrongful death lawsuits associated with DUI accidents (technically called OVI in Ohio) may point to circumstances in which a person may be able to seek compensation from restaurants or bars after the loss of a loved one.
The first case occurred in South Carolina, and it involves Husk restaurant, which was named America’s best restaurant in 2011 by Bon Appétit magazine. In a wrongful death lawsuit settled for $1.1 million on August 8, plaintiffs alleged that the restaurant negligently allowed its assistant manager to drink at the restaurant after the legal bar closing time of 2 am. The assistant manager then struck another driver from behind, causing his car to burst into flames and killing him at the scene. According to the police report on the incident, the assistant manager’s blood alcohol content at the time of the accident was 0.24, three times the legal limit.
In order for this lawsuit to succeed in Ohio, it would likely have to be shown that the assistant manager was visibly intoxicated when he was served additional drinks. The provisions for filing a lawsuit against a liquor permit owner for serving alcohol outside the hours of legal service.
The second case was recently filed in Houston against Rick’s Cabaret International. The lawsuit follows the death of an 18-year-old high school student who was also struck from behind by a drunk driver. The striking driver was, according to witnesses, not using his headlights and, according to crash evidence, traveling approximately 130 mph at the time of the accident. He had a blood alcohol content of 0.295. The lawsuit alleges that the man’s extreme drunkenness was due in part to policies at Rick’s Cabaret that incentivize entertainers to sell as many drinks as possible to patrons, including patrons who are visibly intoxicated.
A lawsuit of this type might be able to succeed in Ohio by showing that the club itself, as well as the servers, was responsible for serving an intoxicated patron.
If you have lost a loved one in a DUI accident, you may be able to get compensation for your loss. Please contact Robert W. Kerpsack, CO, LPA in Columbus, Ohio for a free consultation on your legal rights and options.