- August 11, 2012
- Wrongful Death
Many states have dram shop laws which regulate both the distribution and sale of alcohol by imposing liability on bars, clubs, restaurants, liquor stores or convenience stores that sell alcohol to those individuals who are noticeably intoxicated or to minors. When a drunk driving accident occurs, it is not just the driver who will be held liable, but the company that served alcohol to the intoxicated driver as well. The reason for this liability is the idea of foreseeable harm that might be caused if the visibly intoxicated person gets behind the wheel of a car. Unfortunately, some businesses do not heed the dram shop law and serve those drinkers that are visibly intoxicated.
One such business that disregarded the dram shop law was Rick’s Cabaret, a strip club in Texas, according to a lawsuit filed by the family of Katherine “Emily” Jones, a victim in a drunk driving accident. According to the lawsuit, Erasmo Ramirez was drinking at Rick’s Cabaret on the night that Emily was killed, The lawsuit alleges that Rick’s policies encourage the over serving of alcohol in that entertainer’s are required to pay a nightly house charge to keep their jobs, and this charge was paid by selling the customers drinks to earn credits. This policy, according to the Lanier Law Firm which is representing the family of Emily Jones, allegedly makes it more profitable to keep selling drinks even if the customer is already visibly intoxicated.
To prove liability, the family of Emily will have to show that Rick’s Cabaret served Ramirez after he was visibly intoxicated.
The Lanier Law Firm attorneys have this liability point covered. Ramirez was served 15 or more double drinks during the night by his server, and was only kicked out of the club when he ran out of money. Just thirty minutes after leaving the club, Ramirez’s car traveling at 130 mph, smashed into Jones’ car killing the 18-year-old high school senior. “Investigators determined Ramirez’s blood alcohol content was 0.295, more than three times the legal limit in Texas,” the law firm said. Ramirez was charged with intoxication manslaughter and was sentenced to fifteen years in prison.
Rick’s Cabaret spokesman stated that the establishment had not been served with any suit and would not comment on the case.
If you have been injured, or have tragically lost a family member, as a result of the actions of a drunk driver, a personal injury lawyer can assist you in not only bringing that driver to justice, but in seeking compensatory damages for medical bills, pain and suffering, and for loss of income as well.