In the colonial period of the United States, establishments served alcohol by a unit of liquid measurement called the dram. These establishments were called dram shops. Fast forward to the present day and many states have statutes that are referred to as “dram shop laws.” These laws can hold an establishment that serves or sells alcohol, as well as social hosts, liable if someone gets into an accident after drinking at their home or establishment. The laws generally limit liability to continuing to serve a patron who is already visibly intoxicated or an underage patron. In states with dram shop liability, a person who is injured in an accident may be able to recover damages from such an establishment.
The Courtroom View Network reports that a retrial has begun against two Florida bars over a DUI crash that left a woman with traumatic brain damage.
On Wednesday, the retrial opened in the case of a woman who was left with catastrophic brain damage following a late-night crash on November 2014. The trial seeks damages against two bars that served two underage patrons several drinks.
20-year-old Devon Dwyer left Potbelly’s and shortly after, at approximately 2:00 a.m., he struck then 18-year-old Jacquelyn Faircloth. Faircloth had also been drinking at a bar called Cantina 101.
The crash left Faircloth with brain damage so severe she is unable to communicate or care for herself. In opening arguments, the attorney for Faircloth argued that her medical expenses and lost wages total $21 million alone.
Dwyer, who left the scene, was apprehended later and eventually convicted and served two-and-a-half years in prison for hit and run.
The owner of Cantina 101 admits to serving the underage Faircloth alcohol, so the trial against that establishment is limited to damages. Main Street Entertainment, who is the owner of Potbelly’s also admits to serving the underage Dwyer but contends that he was not drunk when he hit Faircloth.
Over the course of a few hours, Dwyer ordered 18 beers and four bourbons. The owner of Potbelly’s contends that some of those drinks were purchased for friends and Dwyer did not consume them all. A friend of Dwyer’s admitted that he appeared drunk before the crash. The attorney for Potbelly’s also contended that Faircloth was drunk when she crossed the street and is responsible for the crash.