Bars, taverns and restaurants have a responsibility not to overserve alcohol to people. Liability is triggered when they serve “apparently” intoxicated patrons.
That liability runs to innocent third parties who are injured by drunks. Typically commercial establishments can’t be held liable to their own customers who have too much to drink. But there’s one exception.
Bars, taverns and restaurants are liable when underage customers have too much to drink and get hurt–even if they hurt themselves.
We represented a 20-year-old who had way too much to drink at a local restaurant. After boozing it up he got on his motorcycle. After accelerating to almost 70 on an arterial he hit a car and lost his leg.
The bar argued that our client was responsible for his own injuries. It threatened that if we went to trial our client would recover nothing (there’s a statute that says if you’re drunk and over 50 percent at fault for your own injuries you don’t get anything).
Apparently the restaurant lacked conviction. We recovered a significant amount of money from it and from the driver of the car that pulled out in front of our (admittedly) intoxicated client.