Dram Shop Liability

A woman is suing a concert venue because she got bombed and caused an explosion. I’m Amy E. Feldman.

A Canadian woman went to a Marilyn Manson concert where she bought alcohol, drove home drunk, hit a house, which ruptured a gas line, which triggered a mass explosion, which destroyed four houses and cost ten million dollars in damages. Taa daa!  Betcha didn’t think a sentence that started with a Marilyn Manson concert could get worse. Well, she has now sued the venue for overserving her.

In the US, establishments that serve alcohol have a legal duty not to serve visibly drunk patrons and are liable to a person who was injured by the person they overserved. Whether the drunk herself can sue the bar for letting her become so depends on state law. In some states, the answer is no; the law won’t let patrons duck their own responsibility. But in other states like New Jersey, the patron can bring a claim, although the jury is instructed to take her own negligence into account when deciding if the bar is liable. Either way, though: don’t go to a Marilyn Manson concert and then drive home drunk.

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