Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Matthew Curtis and Nicole Wilczynski of Sommers Schwartz Obtain $1 Million Dollar Settlement from Restaurant for Drunk-Driving Accident
Michigan law prohibits establishments that serve alcohol from serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person. If an establishment serves a visibly intoxicated person they can be held liable for the damages the intoxicated person has caused.
The plaintiff filed this dram shop action against the defendant restaurant/bar alleging that it had served alcoholic beverages to a visibly intoxicated patron resulting in the injury or death of the plaintiff’s decedent. The alcoholically intoxicated person (AIP) became so intoxicated while at the defendant restaurant/bar that his friends had to encourage him to slow down and leave the bar. Notwithstanding clear evidence of the physical intoxication, the defendant restaurant/bar waitress never stopped serving the AIP and continued to serve him alcohol in violation of the dram shop act. As could be expected, the AIP got behind the wheel of his SUV with the plaintiff s decedent as his passenger in the back seat, and subsequently crashed his vehicle into the rear end of a street sweeper, killing both himself and plaintiff s decedent.
Plaintiff’s counsel, Matthew Curtis, was successful in settling the case because they were able to find a number of witnesses who were present on the night in question and provided direct eyewitness testimony as to the state of intoxication of the AIP. In addition, the defendant restaurant/bar policies and procedures manual was obtained and based upon the testimony elicited from the waitress, there were numerous internal policies that had been violated throughout the evening in serving the AIP.