Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Chapel Hill Bars
Rock Hill, SC Personal Injury Lawyer
Two Chapel Hill bars, He’s Not Here and La Residence, are being sued for their negligence, which plaintiffs claim caused the wrongful deaths of three people. According to a news site, the two bars allowed an underage college student to drink at their establishments, after which the student drove drunk and caused the fatal accident. The suit claims that the two establishments have a pattern of serving alcohol to students who were not twenty-one years of age.
Evidence of Pattern of Sale of Alcohol to Minors
The North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Branch has indicated that the two establishments have been involved in state investigations in the past for selling alcohol to minors. He’s Not Here was apparently charged with four counts of failing to determine age at the point of sale and faced a fine. Additionally, La Residence sold alcohol to minors and faced several fines. In the current case, the suit alleges that both establishments continued to serve the student in question even though he was visibly intoxicated. He apparently had a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit.
Sale of Alcohol to Intoxicated Persons in North Carolina
According to a North Carolina statute, establishments and their employees are prohibited from knowingly selling or giving alcoholic beverages to any person who is intoxicated. If the vendor knew that the customer was intoxicated at the time of the sale of alcohol, or should have known if he or she was exercising reasonable care, he or she will be held liable for the harm done to other parties by the drunk customer, such as if they are involved in a car accident because of intoxication.
Courts will normally accept all relevant evidence that supports the conclusion that the individual was intoxicated. Testimony regarding the individual’s behavior, such as slurred speech, belligerent behavior, and frequent stumbling or tripping, are routinely offered as reasonably accepted signs of intoxication. This testimony can come from independent witnesses such as employees of the establishment or other customers.
Sale of Alcohol to Minors
North Carolina law prohibits vendors and individuals from selling, giving, or otherwise providing alcohol to persons under the age of twenty-one in the state. The statute containing this prohibition also provides a cause of action in court for those people injured because of the sale of alcohol to minors. This not only includes those directly injured, but also those parents of minors who are injured or die because of the prohibited sale of alcohol.
In order to prove that the establishment is liable under this statute, plaintiffs have to prove that the establishment selling the alcoholic beverage to the minor was negligent, and failing to request identification that shows the minor’s age is evidence of negligence. Evidence of good practices may also be shown by the establishment to prove that it was exercising due care. Good practices include training employees, informing patrons of the laws concerning the sale of alcoholic beverages, and inquiring about the age or degree of intoxication of the individual. Additionally, if the individual misrepresented his or her age, then this may show that the establishment was not negligent.
Establishments that sell alcohol have to exercise due care and may be held liable for injuries caused by negligent sales to already-intoxicated persons and minors. If you or a loved one was injured because an alcohol-serving establishment was careless in its sale of alcohol, the attorneys at Bice Law, LLC may be able to help you seek compensation. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law:
The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability. We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly. Call 877-BICE-877 today or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.