A Dram Shop Case – What Was This Guy Thinking?

Recently an injured plaintiff sued a bar where he had been drinking claiming that he was seriously injured when his car rolled back over him after he had carelessly parked it on a hill while drunk. He claimed that the bar served him alcohol despite being visibly intoxicated in violation of Pennsylvania’s Liquor Laws. As I have stated before, it is state law that a liquor establishment can be held liable for serving or continuing to serve anybody who is or becomes visibly intoxicated while on their premises.

In this case, the plaintiff was served no less than six cocktails consisting of Vodka and cranberry juice before leaving the premises. He became boisterous and intoxicated and despite requests from other patrons to stop serving the plaintiff, the defendant bar tender continued to pour the plaintiff more drinks. He was then allowed to drive away from the establishment in an intoxicated state. After safely reaching his destination, the plaintiff put his car in park and exited his vehicle. As he was walking around the vehicle, the car rolled backward and struck him causing serious and permanent injuries. The jury came back with a defense verdict rather quickly. I am sure that they all thought that it was his own fault and that he had placed himself in that position. Did the bartender throw gasoline on the fire?

Peter J. Hart

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