New York City (NYC) Dram Shop Liability Attorney

Representing bar and restaurant owners who are defending claims of dram shop liability in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and the greater New York City area.

When an intoxicated person gets behind the wheel of a car they are much more likely to cause an accident. Often, the drunk driver's automobile insurance carrier will often disclaim coverage because the driver was operating under the influence. Thus, while the injured person can still sue the driver, they may not have insurance to compensate the victim for their loss.  This means that injured persons often look to recover from Restaurant or Bar that sold alcohol to the driver.

New York's Dram Shop Law places liability on establishments which serve alcohol to patrons who are clearly intoxicated. Establishments such as bars, restaurants, taverns, and clubs may be liable for injuries caused by persons to whom they served alcohol. In addition, if an establishment serves alcohol to a minor, it need not be proven that the establishment "knew or should have known" that the patron was intoxicated, so long as it can be demonstrated that the patron was a minor.

Liability for Serving Visibly Intoxicated Patrons in New York

In New York, General Obligations Law Section 11-101 makes it a crime for these establishments to serve alcohol to visibly intoxicated people. Proving that a patron was visibly intoxicated is often able to be shown through witness testimony and where possible, surveillance tapes. Additionally, the law prohibits the service of alcohol to "habitual drunkards."

Notably, an establishment may be sued, not only when their intoxicated patrons cause car accidents, but also when their patrons incite fights with innocent third parties. So, what must an injured party prove to prevail in a Dram Shop case? It must be shown that: (1) the defendant individual causing the injury was intoxicated; (2) that the defendant establishment sold or gave alcohol to the defendant individual when they knew or should have known that they were visibly intoxicated or a known drunk; and (3) that the defendant establishment caused or contributed to the defendant individual's intoxication.

If you have been sued for the acts of one of your patrons, call the DiPasquale Law Group to discuss your rights at (646) 343-4607, for a free consultation.



James D. DiPasquale, Principal

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