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$________ Negligence and dram shop action - Defendant country club overserves defendant invitee, resulting in golf cart accident wherein plaintiff invitee is injured - Fractured left shoulder.

Middlesex County, Massachusetts

The plaintiff, a concert French horn player and art teacher in her late 30s, brought the negligence and dram shop action against the defendant country club and its invitee. The plaintiff was an invitee of the defendant country club when, she claimed, the defendant invitee accessed an unlocked golf cart and operated it while intoxicated, resulting in injury to the plaintiff. The defendant country club argued that the defendant driver of the golf cart was not over served and that proper precautions were taken to secure the golf carts at the country club.

The plaintiff was a guest at a wedding reception and the defendant driver, another guest at the wedding, was seated at same table with the plaintiff. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant invitee was over served by the defendant country club’s employees and became intoxicated. When the plaintiff was leaving the reception, the defendant invitee offered the plaintiff a ride to her vehicle in a golf cart he was operating. The plaintiff contended that the defendant country club negligently left the keys in the golf cart in an area where invitees could access it. According to the plaintiff, the golf carts were not gated, and there was no sign indicating that they were off limits. The plaintiff accepted a ride with the defendant golf cart operator who took a sharp turn causing the plaintiff to be ejected from the golf cart, whereupon she suffered a fractured left shoulder. The plaintiff drove herself to the emergency room and, the following day, returned to a hospital nearer her home. She was transported by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital, due to issues at the other hospital. The plaintiff has ongoing issues with the shoulder. The plaintiff’s injury inhibits her ability to play the French horn. The plaintiff also has two small children and contended that the lingering issues from her injury limit her ability to participate in life activities. The plaintiff planned to introduce witnesses to confirm that the defendant invitee was intoxicated.

The defendant country club claimed that it was not negligent, and that there was no basis for the dram shop claim, as the defendant invitee was not over served. With regard to the unsecured golf carts on its premises, the defendant country club maintained that it had a system of taking the keys out of the carts and that the golf carts were located in an area where they could be watched by employees working in the pro shop. The defendant driver of the golf cart contended that his being intoxicated was the fault of the defendant country club for having over served him. The defendant driver also asserted that the plaintiff was comparatively negligent, because she had been at the same table with the defendant, knew that he had been drinking, yet she still accepted a ride in the golf cart.

The parties settled the matter prior to trial in the amount of $________.

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