Welcome home, fellow Gator.

The Gator Nation's oldest and most active insider community
Join today!

Legal Question

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by RIP, Oct 20, 2021.

  1. RIP

    RIP Election Prediction Savant Premium Member

    8,066
    2,168
    1,798
    Feb 2, 2015
    A good friend of mine works as a bartender at Buffalo Wild Wings in Denver. A patron was drinking there, and was a passenger in a car that got in a wreck on the way home. He is now suing the establishment. As ridiculous as this sounds is there any way she could face legal repercussions? I have never heard of anything like this.

    Colorado law states "that if a person is injured as a result of a drunk driving crash, they may be able to hold a bar, establishment, restaurant, social hosts, or other businesses accountable in various circumstances involving over-serving the drunk driver."
     
  2. mutz87

    mutz87 p=.06 VIP Member

    37,539
    32,304
    2,696
    Aug 30, 2014
    Legal eagles could answer better but it seems to me that if your friend wasn't serving the person directly but fulfilling orders brought to him by wait staff, or the person wasn't visibly drunk then he shouldn't be (able to be) held liable. But this is my gut reaction.
     
  3. carpeveritas

    carpeveritas GC Hall of Fame

    1,185
    181
    303
    Dec 31, 2016
    Drunk driving laws vary by state so it isn't unreasonable for contributing actors to be held accountable. My advice seek legal counsel. Since this is a passenger in the car with a drunk driver I would assume the passenger bears some responsibility having gotten into the car to start with. I would think the passenger may have grounds on an insurance claim though.

    Colorado’s Dram Shop Statute and What It Means for Victims of Drunk Driving
     
  4. RIP

    RIP Election Prediction Savant Premium Member

    8,066
    2,168
    1,798
    Feb 2, 2015
    I should have clarified that he was seated at the bar. The fact that he was the passenger in the accident and his buddy wasn't charged with a DUI makes this whole thing seem like a quick cash grab hoping BWWs settles quickly to make it go away.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  5. WarDamnGator

    WarDamnGator GC Hall of Fame

    7,145
    657
    1,468
    Apr 8, 2007
    Not a lawyer, but that sounds like a ridiculous case.
     
    • Agree Agree x 10
  6. docspor

    docspor GC Hall of Fame

    2,712
    992
    683
    Nov 30, 2010
  7. PerSeGator

    PerSeGator GC Hall of Fame

    2,648
    430
    468
    Jun 14, 2014
    Were either of the drivers served by BWW? If not, it's hard to imagine what kind of claim a passenger would have against the restaurant or your friend. The only thing I can think of is if the passenger got drunk off his ass and BWW put him in a car with an obviously drunk driver.

    Do you have a copy of the complaint? That will give you a better idea of what the passenger is actually alleging. If your friend is named at all, it would be a good idea for her to consult with a lawyer. Even if not, it might be helpful just for her peace of mind.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Gator515151

    Gator515151 GC Hall of Fame

    Apr 4, 2007
    Is she a democrat or a republican? Because there always seems to be 2 sets of rules.

    Sorry bout the hijack attempt. Carry on.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Come On Man Come On Man x 1
  9. WESGATORS

    WESGATORS Moderator VIP Member

    22,600
    1,258
    1,608
    Apr 3, 2007
    Doesn't the driver have to have been served at the bar?

    Go GATORS!
    ,WESGATORS
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. QGator2414

    QGator2414 VIP Member

    11,851
    554
    698
    Aug 24, 2009
    Ocala
    I do believe a business can be liable in some circumstances. But I would think it would have to be the driver.

    As stated. If this was a passenger. It seems the only way the establishment or anyone could be held liable for a passenger would be for them to knowingly set up a ride for a patron with a driver who is drunk.

    Now if they did get the driver I have a hard time thinking they are responsible for doing a sobriety check on the driver? Maybe there is a hole out there for Morgan and Morgan? But if you serve a patron and they don’t drive home…I have hard time finding any liability with the business or bartender. Now if they die from alcohol poisoning? Maybe?
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. jeffbrig

    jeffbrig GC Hall of Fame

    1,073
    335
    433
    Aug 7, 2007
    My wife (an attorney) has discussed this with me before. There may be liability on the bar if they knowingly serve someone who they know to have a problem. It would usually come into play with someone like a bar regular (Norm!) that is a known habitual abuser of alcohol. If we shut down everr bar/restaurant that ever had a patron receive a DUI, there'd be no more bars or restaurants.

    Wait, the patron was a passenger in a car that got in an accident? They're just casting a net for anyone with deep pockets. That's BWW, not your friend. Also, the corporate entity (BWW) generally shields the employees, especially a non-professional employee like a bartender or server.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. wgbgator

    wgbgator Premium Member

    23,896
    1,238
    1,968
    Apr 19, 2007
    A Van Down By the River
    This is why liquor liability policies exist, and I assume that BWW franchise has one
     
  13. archigator_96

    archigator_96 GC Hall of Fame

    1,374
    644
    258
    Apr 8, 2020
    Or since it was Colorado, did the drunk driver also refuse to bake a wedding cake for sober people?
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
  14. g8rjd

    g8rjd GC Hall of Fame

    10,275
    1,118
    683
    Jan 20, 2008
    Tallahassee, FL
    I’ll pm you.
     
    • Fistbump/Thanks! Fistbump/Thanks! x 1
  15. Trickster

    Trickster Premium Member

    7,007
    1,741
    1,518
    Sep 20, 2014
    Hey! Why aren't you posting your legal advice to all of us!?! I bet your PM to RIP will include a bill attached.
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
  16. g8rjd

    g8rjd GC Hall of Fame

    10,275
    1,118
    683
    Jan 20, 2008
    Tallahassee, FL
    Not at all. :)
     
  17. Trickster

    Trickster Premium Member

    7,007
    1,741
    1,518
    Sep 20, 2014
    So you’re earning some pro Bono credits on TH?:rolleyes:
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  18. g8rjd

    g8rjd GC Hall of Fame

    10,275
    1,118
    683
    Jan 20, 2008
    Tallahassee, FL
    No attorney client relationship is created or implied. ;)