Dram shop laws are on the books in 38 states, including Illinois and Iowa. These law impose liability on bars, clubs, restaurants and other establishments that over serve alcohol to patrons. If an employee or agent of such establishment serves alcohol to a patron when he or she knows, or should know, that the patron is intoxicated the establishment can be liable for damages resulting from the actions of that intoxicated patron. This liability exposure typically arises in the context of an intoxicated patron causing a car accident or getting into a bar brawl. In those situations not only may the intoxicated person be liable for damages arising from the injuries causes, but so to may the establishment that served the alcohol. If there were a number of establishments that served the alcohol they may all be exposed to liability if it can be shown that they served it when they knew, or should have known, that the patron was intoxicated.
In some states, not Illinois or Iowa, individuals may also be exposed to liability if they over serve their guests. This legal theory is called “Social Host Liability”. In those states where this theory is applicable the host of a party or get together may be liable for damages caused by his or her guest if they allow that guest to become intoxicated or nearly intoxicated and that intoxication contributes to an incident causing damages.
If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury or death as a result of someone being served too much alcohol, contact VanDerGinst Law here or by calling 1-866-843-7367. The first consultation is free and there is never an attorney fee on a personal injury case unless we win.