Hartline Barger Attorneys Win Defense Verdict in a Dram Shop Trial for a Dallas Restaurant/Bar

Posted on March 9, 2020 by Hartline Barger - News

DALLAS, Texas, March 6, 2020 Hartline Barger LLP today announced a jury trial victory after attorneys Darrell Barger, Brian Rawson, and Stephanie Roark successfully defended their client in a three-week Dram Shop liability trial in Dallas County Court of Law No. 1, before Judge D’Metria Benson.

The case involved an automobile-pedestrian accident that resulted in the death of a 26-year-old man in 2015. Earlier in the night, that man was watching sporting events on TV with friends at a Bombshells Restaurant and Bar, where he consumed at least 10 alcoholic beverages over a four hour period. Towards the end of his visit, the man became aggressive with another table of patrons and slammed his hands down on a table. Within 10 seconds, a Bombshells security guard escorted the man outside, took his car keys, and called him a cab. The security guard told the cab driver to take the intoxicated individual home, but unexpectedly, the man was dropped off at a gas station a mile from the restaurant. One hour later, he was hit by a car and killed while walking across a street. At the time of his death, the intoxicated individual had a blood-alcohol level of three times the legal limit.

The parents of the victim filed suit against Bombshells, alleging the restaurant/bar was negligent in continuing to serve alcohol to their son when he was obviously intoxicated and that negligence was the proximate cause of their son’s death. Plaintiffs’ counsel asked the jury to award nearly $5 million to the parents of the victim.

Defense counsel argued that their client had safeguards in place to prevent serving alcohol to someone showing signs of intoxication. The defense also emphasized that within 10 seconds of the intoxicated patron displaying signs of intoxication by slamming his hands on a table, restaurant staff reacted quickly and correctly took his car keys and arranged for a cab ride home.

After approximately two weeks of trial testimony and one week of deliberations, the Dallas County jury returned a complete defense verdict on December 20, 2019.

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