In April of 2012, Lori Vanderlaan and Christina Tribbia tried a Dram Shop Act claim where three teenagers, who had been standing on the sidewalk, were struck by a drunken motorist who hopped the curb at high speed.04/01/2012
In April of 2012, Lori Vanderlaan and Christina Tribbia tried a Dram Shop Act claim where three teenagers, who had been standing on the sidewalk, were struck by a drunken motorist who hopped the curb at high speed.
One of the plaintiffs (age 16) got tangled in the stop sign at the curb and ended up with a below the knee right leg amputation. Her medical bills exceeded $500,000. The other two Plaintiffs were less injured, but one did suffer a broken humerus. Defendant took the position that the drunk driver had not consumed alcohol at its bar. The drunk driver had told police, at the scene, that he had been at a quinceanera (birthday party for a 15 year old) drinking before the accident. When he met with Plaintiff's counsel and gave his deposition before the defendant bar had been sued, he testified he had been drinking at the defendant bar. At his evidence deposition, he admitted that before identifying the defendant bar, Plaintiff's counsel had told the drunk driver of their strategy to go after a bar and that he was not their target. Additionally, while he maintained that he had been to the defendant bar, defendant was able to demonstrate, through the owner, that the drunk driver's description of the inside of the bar was not accurate. Also, the drunk driver claimed to have left the bar at 2:00 p.m. and drove directly to the accident scene, which was only 3-5 minutes away. Yet the accident happened at 2:56 p.m.. Finally, Defendant called the investigating police officer who was adamant that the drunk driver told him he had been at a quinceanera and never mentioned drinking at the defendant's bar. At closing, defense argued that Plaintiff failed to meet their burden that the defendant bar had served the AIP where the only evidence of the same was the incredible testimony of the AIP himself. After two hours of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in excess of $5,000,000 against the drunk driver, but found the defendant bar not guilty.