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Dram Shop Liability (Restaurant/Bar Liability)

Many victims involved in alcohol-related accidents in New Orleans don’t realize they may have the right to file a claim against more than just the drunken person. The “dram shop,” or establishment that furnished the intoxicated individual with alcohol, could share liability for negligently permitting the person to cause the harm. Louisiana’s dram shop statute is more limited than in most other states, but injured victims might still be able to hold a dram shop liable in two situations. Learn more during a free consultation at the Law Office of John W. Redmann, L.L.C.

What Does the Law Say?

Most states have enacted specific dram shop statutes that hold alcohol vendors and social hosts legally responsible for selling or furnishing the alcohol that an intoxicated individual drank before causing an accident. This is not the case in Louisiana. Louisiana does not have broad legislation holding parties liable for providing alcohol to someone who then goes on to injure others. That being said, a restaurant or bar could still be liable for someone else’s drunkenness in Louisiana in three specific circumstances:

  1. The establishment sold liquor to a person under the legal drinking age.
  2. The “dram shop” forced the individual to become intoxicated. A restaurant or bar might be liable if the owner or an employee forcibly intoxicated someone (e.g., the bartender slipped drugs into someone’s drink or threatened someone into drinking alcohol), and that someone went on to cause someone else’s injuries.
  3. The “dram shop” served “non-alcoholic” drinks that actually contained alcohol. If a vendor or social host tells the intoxicated person that his/her drinks were non-alcoholic, when in fact they were not, this could expose the vendor or host to liability for that person’s actions. This type of misrepresentation is an act of negligence in the eyes of the law.

Although these situations are rare, consult with the attorneys at the Law Office of John W. Redmann, L.L.C. to find out if you have grounds for a lawsuit. Only an attorney can assess the merits of your case.

When Might a Bar or Restaurant Be Liable?

It may be possible to hold a bar, restaurant, or another establishment liable for an accident that occurs while someone is intoxicated if a defective property element contributed to the injuries. If an unreasonably unsafe condition existed at the dram shop, and this condition caused the injuries, the victim could hold the bar or restaurant responsible for damages. For example, if an intoxicated person tripped and fell because of a slippery floor, knocking someone else to the ground and injuring that person, the dram shop could be responsible.

Your Legal Options After an Alcohol-Related Accident in Louisiana

In the event that you cannot hold a dram shop or social host liable for someone else’s intoxication, you might have other means of recovery. You may be able to file a claim against the intoxicated individual him/herself for negligence or recklessness. For example, a drunk driver in Louisiana will be legally responsible for the damages he/she causes in an at-fault car accident. A social host may be liable for accidents and injuries if a property defect contributed.

Explore your legal options after any type of accident involving an intoxicated party in New Orleans, during a consultation with one of our lawyers. We’ll listen to your story, investigate what happened, and let you know if we believe you can hold the dram shop, bar, or restaurant at least partially liable for your injuries. If not, we may be able to help you bring a claim against another party. Trust us with your case and see why clients Rely on Redmann!™