North Carolina Court Awards 1.7 Million Dram Shop Verdict

NORTH CAROLINA

CHARLOTTE JURY AWARDS 1.7 MILLION DOLLAR VERDICT 2012

Eastridge v Eddies Place Restaurant and Bar

(Occurred October 2010 verdict November 2012)

Case Summary - 

In October of 2010 while driving home a drunk driver with a blood alcohol level more than three times the legal limit crashed into a couple going more than 100 miles per hour.  The drunk driver had just left a bar in South Charlotte where he had been served at least 10 alcoholic beverage drinks.  Both the husband and wife spent more than a month in the hospital and the wife lost her baby.  Surgery was required for both the husband and wife and both spent months in rehabilitation after the accident.

Issues - 

  • Did the accident occur as a result of the alcohol the defendant was served while at Eddies Place Restaurant and Bar?
  • Was the restaurant and bar negligent under the dram shop laws?

Findings - 

  • The restaurant was negligent in serving alcohol to a person it should have know was drunk
  • Although the investigation did not find that the defendant had been served after he was “visibly intoxicated”, the standard under civil law is less than under criminal law

SHOW PROS ARRT Institute Recommendations -

  • Insure all of your employees/volunteers are properly trained BEFORE they are allowed to sell or serve alcoholic beverages
  • Develop written policies and procedures regarding alcohol sales and service
  • Inform the public of your policies by posting signage
  • Do not engage in risky drink specials
  • Do not allow drinking games on your ABC permitted/licensed premises
  • Stop intoxicated patrons at your front door and do not allow them on your premises

TO SCHEDULE TRAINING FOR YOUR STAFF CONTACT SHOW PROS TODAY!  980-272-2171

 

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South Carolina Supreme Court decision 2010

SOUTH CAROLINA

SOUTH CAROLINA SUPREME COURT DECISION 2010

Hartfield v. The Getaway Lounge & Grill, Inc.

(Heard June 11, 2009 – Filed July 26, 2010)

South Carolina does not have a Dram Shop Act.  South Carolina’s civil remedy arises out of crimial statutes.

Case Summary -

In July 2003, Hoyt Helton drove his vehicle across the center line and struck a vehicle in which John Hartfield (father) was a passenger.  Helton was killed and Hartfield and his son suffered serious injuries.  Hartfield field suit against three bars visited by Helton and the jury returned a verdict awarding Hartfield $8 million and $2 million for Hartfield’s father.  The trial court also granted Hartfield’s motion to pierce the corporate veil of the Getaway Lounge & Grill making the owner liable in the amount awarded by the jury.  The verdict was appealed to the South Carolina Supreme Court.

Issues -

  • The court must prove visible intoxication
  • The employee “should have known” the patron was intoxicated
  • Piercing the Corporate Veil

Findings -

  • South Carolina statutes (S.C. Code 61-4-580) prohibit employees from knowingly selling alcohol to intoxicated patrons.  The statute does not contain a requirement that the intoxicated person be visibly intoxicated.
  • Knowing a patron was consuming alcohol at your establishment satisfies the statute for “should have known”.
  • The courts allowed the Corporate Veil to be pierced exposing the permittee to personal liability for selling to an intoxicated patron.
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ABC Permitting now available in Charlotte NC

Effective July 1, 2012, Show Pros will begin issuing Temporary ABC Permits on behalf of the North Carolina ABC Commission.

Permits are issued by appointment only.

Contact Danny Sellers at 980-272-2171 or email ABCPermitRequest @showprostaff.com to learn more.

 

CHARLOTTE ABC PERMITTING OFFICE

514A Springbrook Road
Charlotte, NC  28217
980-272-2171

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