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ARTICLE ID 190008

Dram Shop – Plaintiffs are involved in a head-on collision with DUI driver – Fractured ankle – Head injury with finding of 20% neuropsychological permanent partial disability – Collapsed lung – Liver lacerations – Multiple pelvis fractures – 5-8% permanent partial disability of left leg.

Fairfield County, CT

In this dram shop matter, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant taverns were liable for the plaintiff’s injuries as a result of serving the defendant driver while she was visibly intoxicated. The plaintiffs sustained serious and permanent injuries as a result of the head-on collision between the intoxicated driver’s vehicle and the plaintiffs’ vehicle. The defendant denied liability, contending that the plaintiff driver was also intoxicated at the time of the collision. The defendant disputed the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries and damages.

On March 1, ________, the 26-year-old male plaintiff driver and the 24-year-old male passenger, both employed as waiters, left the bar and were driving home. Their vehicle collided head-on with the vehicle operated by another driver who had been a patron at the defendants’ tavern traveling in the opposite direction.

As a result of the collision, the plaintiffs were seriously injured. The plaintiff passenger sustained a collapsed lung, liver lacerations and multiple pelvis fractures which required open reduction and internal fixation surgery. The plaintiff passenger was assigned a 5-8% left leg permanent partial disability as a result of this incident. The plaintiff driver was diagnosed with a fractured ankle that required internal fixation surgery and sustained a substantial head injury which resulted in a 20% neuropsychological PPD and a 19% PPO in the plaintiff’s ankle.

The plaintiffs brought suit against the tavern where the driver of the other vehicle had been drinking immediately prior to the collision. The plaintiffs alleged that the driver of the other vehicle was negligent in the operation of her vehicle while intoxicated and caused the collision. The plaintiff driver incurred $________ in medical specials and the plaintiff passenger incurred $________ in medical specials. The plaintiff driver demanded $________ and the plaintiff passenger demanded $________.

The defendant tavern denied liability for the plaintiffs’ injuries. The police were unable to determine liability for several months due to the extensive damage and vehicle movement. The police eventually concluded that the plaintiff was at fault due to gauge marks in the pavement. The plaintiff driver had a BAC of ________ and the defendant driver had a BAC of ________. None of the drivers or the passenger recalled the collision. The defendant driver initially stated she was at one bar and then denied she was at the bar, maintaining she was at the defendant establishment. The defendant tavern offered no money to settle the claim prior to trial, maintaining that it did not serve alcohol to the driver.The matter proceeded to trial over a period of six days. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury deliberated for two and a-half hours and returned its verdict in favor of the defendant and against the plaintiffs. The jury determined that it did not find the driver’s contentions that she was at the defendant establishment credible. No damages were awarded and judgment was entered in favor of the defendant tavern.

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