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Posts tagged "Florida Dram Shop Act"

Florida's Dram Shop Act: Should Clubs or Bars Be Liable For Injuries Their Intoxicated Patrons Cause?

Thumbnail image for Dram Shop.jpgShould a bar or club be held liable for the injuries or deaths caused by their intoxicated patrons? Florida's law on liability of a bar is unique. Florida Statutes Section 768.125 states that if a person "willfully and unlawfully" provides alcohol to a minor under age 21 or "knowingly" provides alcohol to a person "habitually addicted" to alcohol, that person may be held liable for any injuries caused by the minor or the "habitually addicted" person. This statute is called Florida's Dram Shop Act. Unlike many states, Florida's Dram Shop Act does not mention serving alcohol to someone who appears or is actually intoxicated. Recently, in Stephanie De La Torre, et al. v. Flanigan's Enterprises, Inc., occupants of a vehicle were injured in an accident. The occupants brought a negligence action against a restaurant that served alcohol to the driver of the other vehicle that caused the accident. At the trial level, the Circuit Court, Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County, John B. Bowman, J., dismissed the case. The occupants appealed the trial court's decision. The parties in this action agreed that the Dram Shop Act limited the bar owner's liability. However, the injured claimants attempted to argue that the bar undertook a responsibility to prevent the driver from driving under the influence.

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