Dram Shop

Can You Be Sued for Over-serving Alcohol to A Person that Causes a Car Crash?

‘Tis the season for holiday parties, which means it is also the season for DUII crashes. Many of these crashes cause catastrophic injuries or deaths. When that occurs it is likely that the injured person’s family will want to hold all negligent persons responsible for causing the injuries or death. Most people think that simply the impaired driver is solely responsible for causing the crash. However, that may not be the case if the DUII driver is leaving a residence or bar where he was over-served alcohol. In Oregon you can be sued if you are a social host and over-serve a visibly intoxicated person who causes a car crash. This means that you may be responsible for the injured person’s losses which can be millions of dollars in some cases.

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To put it another way, homeowner’s can be held responsible for serving alcohol to a person that is visibly intoxicated and later injures another in a DUII crash. (See ORS 471.565). Oregon courts have determined a person who receives guests in a social setting, in which the host serves or directs the serving of booze or beer to guests can be held accountable if the overly intoxicated person later injures another in a DUII crash. Don’t believe me? Check out the Court’s opinion in Deckard v. Bunch, 358 Or 754 (2016).

Social Host liability is important because home owner’s and renter’s insurance policies may cover DUII crash injuries and provide tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars, in additional insurance coverage. This money can be used to pay medical bills, physical therapy, vocational rehabilitation, and to compensate the injured person or their family for their harms and losses. More importantly, social host liability will hopefully act as a deterrent to over-serving intoxicated people who may get behind the wheel.

Social Host cases can be complicated and there are other theories an attorney can use to attempt to obtain maximum recovery for a person’s wrongful death, injury, or loss. Please contact Portland Personal Injury Attorney, Jeremiah Ross, at 503.224.1658 for a free personal injury consultation. Please remember this post is for informational purposes only and you should rely on the current statute and case law when considering a dram shop claim. These laws constantly change and the theories of liability are not as clear as they were in the past. Please consult with an attorney if you believe you have a dram shop claim, social host claim, or have been injured by a DUII Driver.

A dangerous day for driving ,SNOW and the Superbowl:

It is Superbowl Sunday and the National Weather Service is also predicting snow yet again in Portland, Oregon.  As the Oregonian has previously reported, the Superbowl is historically a dangerous day for people to be on the road, because of all of the DUII Drivers.   Portland drivers have shown over the past few weeks that we have issues with driving in the snow.  In short, this is a terrible day to drive.  

 

If you need information about what to do if you were in a car crash due to snow click here.

 

If you were involved in a crash with a suspected DUII driver click here.

If you have questions about additional compensation, because you were hit by a DUII driver click here.  You may be entitled to punitive damages, criminal restitution, and increased damages if your case is taken to trial.  and there may be more people responsible for causing the crash than just the bad driver.  For more information click here.

If you want to speak with a lawyer rather than reading call me at 503.224.1658 for your free car crash personal injury case evaluation.  Feel free to call Ross Law and Jeremiah Ross at 503.224.1658.  

Please remember this post is for informational purposes only and the law is constantly changing.   Please call a lawyer before relying on this post. 

Injured by a Drunk Driver Leaving a Holiday Party? Throwing a Party? Things you Need to Know

The Holiday Season is in full swing.  People are shopping, decorating, and atttending the various holiday festivities here in Portland.  Many people are also dusting off their ugly holiday sweater and attending Holiday Parties.   I am a huge fan of Holiday Parties and a bigger fan of tacky sweaters, but I can't stand people that drink and drive.  Unfortunately, drinking and driving occurs far too often during the Holiday Season.  This can turn the Holiday season into a tragic event for anyone involved in a crash with a DUII Driver.  Socieity has little tolerance for DUII Drivers, but here in Oregon the law also allows the injured person to hold all people accountable for causing their injuries.   This includes the business or people that over-served the DUII driver alcohol.

In Oregon, homeowner’s can be held responsible for serving alcohol to a person that is visibly intoxicated and later injures another in a DUII crash. (ORS 471.565). Oregon courts have determined a person who receives guests in a social setting, in which the host serves or directs the serving of booze or beer to guests can be held accountable if the overly intoxicated person later injures another in a DUII crash. See Solberg v. Johnson, 306 Or 484, 490 (1988). This type of liability is referred to as “Dram Shop” liability. Dram Shop liability is important because home owner’s and renter’s insurance policies may cover DUII crash injuries and provide tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars, in additional insurance coverage. This money can be used to pay medical bills, physical therapy, vocational rehabilitation, and to compensate the injured person or their family for their harms and losses.   Dram Shop liability also applies to a business that over-serves a visibly intoxicated person that ends up harming another.

Hopefully this guy is not driving home.  If he does, and injures someone the party host may be liable.

It is important to keep in mind if you intend on making a dram shop claim there are time limitations that notice must be given in. Specifically, if it is a wrongful death claim then notice must be given within one year of the date of death, or within a year after the date plaintiff discovered, or should have discovered, the claim, whichever is later. (ORS 471.565) In a personal injury matter, notice must be given within 180 days of the injury, or 180 days after the injured person discovered or reasonably should have discovered, the existence of a dram shop claim which ever is later. (ORS 471.565) However, these notice requirements may not always apply and there are exceptions. Please refer to a current version of ORS 471.565 for notice requirements and time limitations.

Dram shop cases can be complicated and there are other theories an attorney can use to attempt to obtain maximum recovery for a person’s injury or loss. Please contact Portland Personal Injury Attorney, Jeremiah Ross, at 503.224.1658. for a free personal injury consultation. Please remember this post is for informational purposes only and you should rely on the current statute and case law when considering a dram shop claim. Please consult with an attorney if you believe you have a dram shop claim or have been injured by a DUII Driver.

Who Can be Held Liable if You Are Injured by a Rowdy Tailgater or a DUII Driver?

It is College Football season again.  Oregonians flock to Autzen Stadium or Reser Stadium to see their beloved Ducks and Beavers battle on the turf.  Here in Portland people flood into Providence Park to see the Portland State Pilots.  These fun outings can become tragic when alcohol, drugs, and/or stupidity meld together.  When that occurs  people can get hurt. That leads us to the question, who is liable for a person injured by an intoxicated person.  The obvious answer is the intoxicated person that actually injures another person.  However, the analysis does not stop here.

 Oregon's Dram shop law allows other people to be held responsible for the intoxicated person's actions.   This law allows a person injured by an intoxicated person to hold the social host liable for over-serving an intoxicated person.  Also, the bars around Providence Park in Portland should be aware they can be liable to a person injured by an over-intoxicated person if the visibly-intoxicated person was served alcohol while visibly intoxicated.   

Examples always make this easier to understand.   Imagine Jon is going to the PSU game and stops off at a bar for a drink.  Jon stays at the bar with his friends and becomes trashed.  He consumes eight shots of whisky in an hour and is struggling to stand.  The bar tender continues to serve him despite his rowdy behavior.  Jon then walks towards Providence to see his beloved Pilots play.  On the way he sees a person wearing a Montana Jersey.   Without provocation, Jon attacks the Montana Fan.  Jon seriously injured the Montana fan.  The Montana fan has a permanent brain injury and hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical bills.   Jon is prosecuted, but doesn't have any money, so the Montana fan has little hope of Jon ever paying his medical bills.  However, the Montana Fan's lawyer discovers Jon was drinking at a bar and was over-served.  The Attorney sends the bar the proper notice.  The bar's insurance policy may cover the Montana Fan's medical bills.   The bar may also be forced to compensate Montana Fan for all of his harms and losses from the beating, and the bar may have to pay the injured person Punitive Damages.  

Video Courtesy of youtube.  Ross Law Does not Condone fighting. Tailgate fight

 

Imagine another situation where Jenny is tailgating at the Ducks game.  She is at a tailgate party hosted by Marcia.   Marcia provided a few bottles of liquor and has cases of beer for anyone to drink.  Jenny gets into the Vodka, and Marcia keeps it flowing.  Marcia has a rule at her tailgates "Hell no H20," and continues to serve Jenny more and more alcohol.  Jenny begins to stagger around and vomits all over a neighboring tailgater's car.  Marcia gives Jenny one more Vodka Tonic as Jenny staggers off.  Jenny then gets into her car and attempts to drive to her aparment near campus.  Jenny begins to drive home and then veers off of the road and crashes into a group of students walking to the Duck's game.   The three students are seriously injured. Jenny's minimal $25,000/$50,000 policy limits is quickly subsumed by the students hospital bills.  One of the Student's Personal Injury attorney reads the police report and discovers that Jenny was drinking at Marcia's tailgate party.  The student's attorney sends a demand to Marcia for the "dram shop" liability.  Marcia's $1,000,000.00 umbrella policy covers the crash.  The attorney also believes the University was not providing adequate supervision because there were other reports of Marcia's guest being out of control and drinking heavily.  In fact, one of the Security Guards didn't do anything when another tailgater complained of the heavy drinking and was concerned Jenny may drive home.  The Student's attorney may now be able to prove a case of negligence against the Security Company and the University.  The student may collect maximum compensation for his injuries because all of the wrongdoers will be held accountable.

These are just two examples of social host and dram shop liability.   Anytime a person is injured by  a heavily intoxicated person social host or dram shop liability may come into play.  For more information about dram shop liability read my previous article.  It may assist an injured person obtaining compensation that would otherwise not be available.   These cases often involve assault and battery, sexual assault, rape, and DUII driving.  

If you have been injured, assaulted, or rapted as a result of a heavily intoxicated person in Oregon please call me at 503.224.1658 to discuss your case.  Ross Law provides Free Consultations.  We do not charge you anything unless we recover. Please remember this post is not to be considered legal advice. Also, please remember the law is constantly changing.  Please consult with an Oregon Personal Injury or Crime Victim Attorney at 503.224.1658 instead of relying on this post.  This Post, the web-site, and blog may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING!