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Old 06-27-2003, 09:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How to Get Thirty-Nine Million Dollars

http://story.news.yahoo.com/fc?cid=3...and_Alcoholism

Restaurant Ordered to Pay Couple $39M
Fri Jun 27,12:41 AM ET Add U.S. National - AP to My Yahoo!


MUNCIE, Ind. - Jurors ordered the corporate owner of an Outback Steakhouse to pay $39 million to a couple severely injured when they were hit by an allegedly drunken driver who had just left the restaurant.

David and Lisa Markley filed the complaint against the restaurant in 1999, two years after the accident.

The lawsuit alleged that the driver became intoxicated at a party celebrating the restaurant's grand opening. After he left the party, his car crossed a highway center line and collided with a motorcycle operated by David Markley.

Markley suffered broken bones that left him unable to return to his factory job. His wife, a passenger on the motorcycle, suffered internal and leg injuries that required more than 40 surgeries.

"She's in constant pain every day of her life," said the couple's attorney, Michael J. Alexander.

Attorneys for the restaurant chain said they expected to appeal.

Some witnesses said alcohol was served free to guests at the grand opening. Others said they paid a dime each for mixed drinks and beer.

The Muncie restaurant is one of more than 600 owned by Florida-based Outback Steakhouse Inc.

____________________________________________________

This one made my blood boil.

It combines the two trends that I despise most in today's society:
1.) Blame someone, anyone, even if the blame should not be attached to that party.
2.) Award impossibly large settlements for pain and suffering.

I'm not sure how much pain and suffering you need to go through for 39 million, but you can sign me up for it. Gladly.

These people were probably worth a couple hundred thousand - and although its a shame they can't go back to work, I someone don't think they would have made thirty-nine million if they did.

Notice how people never try to sue insolvents? For some reason, I'm not quite sure why, these people always look to sue people/corporations that have money. Hmmmm....

I feel strongly that this is an unjust outcome. Outback Steakhouse should carry no blame. This is shocking - but the guy who hit them should carry the fault. I don't think its a restaurant's job to police its customers. How do they know who is driving and who is not? It's your job and your job alone to make sure you can drive.

I applaud Outback for fighting this in court, even though it appears they lost. Too often these companies are willing to just settle, and it gives people like those in the article easy money.

Am I the only one that wants to go give a good kick in the ass to the jurors in Indiana?
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Old 06-27-2003, 10:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well, not that I necessarily think that this is right, but it has been established that bars/restaurants/et al do in fact have the responsibility to watch over how much people drink.
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Old 06-27-2003, 10:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Long live the american justice system.
I cannot believe anyone, and i mean anyone would award 39 million $ for something this imposterus.
What on earth were they thinking?
Things like that make me happy i live in crappy little Denmark, those things wont happen here, that's for sure.
(No offence to any american sitisens here, i believe there is a lot - i blaim the system, not you.. unless you're the one who awarded them with the 39 million $)
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Old 06-27-2003, 10:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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bull crap. remember how quick were y'all to attack the belgian govt (in the politics board)??

look @ our own laws.


appeal and resteraunt will win.
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Old 06-27-2003, 10:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally posted by The_Dude
bull crap. remember how quick were y'all to attack the belgian govt (in the politics board)??

look @ our own laws.


appeal and resteraunt will win.
But they won't win on appeal. This is something I am very familiar with as a Board Member of our state liquor dealers association. Many states have laws called Dram Shop Laws. A Dram Shop Law makes the seller responsible for what the buyer does - a few industries are singled out like this for such treatment. In addition to our industry look at the ridiculous suits against gun manufacturers and dealers for what an end user eventually does with their product. Before some of you jump to defend this type of law ask yourself if Ford should be sued because some idiot bought a used Ford off a used car lot and ran over someone. There is no difference. Transfer of guilt by legitimate business association makes no sense at all.
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Old 06-27-2003, 11:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The host of a party, be it an individual or a business is legally responsible for all of it's patrons until they get home safely, at least here in Canada. The liquor stores up here are full of pamphlets reminding you that if you throw a party, and let a drunk person drive away and they hurt themselves, or someone else, you're responsible. This is why bartenders are trained in things like recognizing the signs of drunkenness.
Should they have gotten $39 million? No, that's just ludicrous, although maybe some of that is punitive, since a big corporation like the Outback wouldn't even notice something like $1 million, which is really more than a fair settlement. The Lawsuit Lottery goes on.
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Old 06-27-2003, 11:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The restaraunt is responsible for how much alcohol a person consumes. I work at a restaraunt. They stress this to everyone who works there. If a person appears to be intoxicated we are to cut them off and make sure we get them a ride with someone who is sober. Even if it means calling the cops and letting the cops drive the person home or calling a cab for the person. They give us 3 levels of intoxication and even though it might not sound fair, outback is responsible. 39 million sounds a bit outrageous I'll be the first to admit that. Nonetheless, these are the laws and the bartender/server should've recognized the fact that the man was drunk.
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Old 06-27-2003, 11:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Sadly it's not just a US thing. A woman left a party that Kodak was having, went to ANOTHER BAR and drank more, crashed her car and got hurt on the way home. She sued Kodak and won and therefore, many companies (my former employer included) put a ban on staff events with ANY alcohol at all.

It really made the holidays suck around the workplace.
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Old 06-27-2003, 12:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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39 million is very high but Outback is still responsible.

I do agree with gov135's point though about litigation in the US. It is out of hand.
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Old 06-27-2003, 12:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think that it is the restaurant's job to control the drinking if they are providing the alcohol. On the other hand $39 mil. is ridiculous. I believe that that judgment amount will be overturned on appeal. Moist headline judgment amounts are. If not, Outback will negotiate it out with the people. "We can fight this to the Supreme Court and take years to do so, or we can give you $5mil. now - your choice". If not, guess what, restaurants will just stop selling booze. We don't want that now do we?
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Old 06-28-2003, 09:48 AM   #11 (permalink)
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So when is someone going to explain to the juries that award these monster settlements, that we all end up making the payments?
It's not like the company is just gonna say, "Dammit. Okay, here's a check, drawn on our savings account." They're gonna raise prices wherever they can, and it's gonna come out of the pocket of the average consumer.
Not to mention insurance premiums going up for everybody else in the same type of business, once precedence has been set. And all those businesses will raise prices to cover their increased costs.....
 
Old 06-28-2003, 11:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Several people have made arguments for while it should be outbacks fault and a few have made arguements for why it shouldn't. No one has made any mention of the drunk though. Why should it not be his fault? What if it was Bill Gates. I am sure suddenly everyone WOULD be blaming him. Restaurants and bars have the most money in most of these cases. Thats why its their fault. Its people like this that make me hope there IS an afterlife. Because I know they will then see their divine judgement. The judgement that will elude them on earth.
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Old 06-28-2003, 11:57 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: How to Get Thirty-Nine Million Dollars

Quote:
Originally posted by gov135

I feel strongly that this is an unjust outcome. Outback Steakhouse should carry no blame. This is shocking - but the guy who hit them should carry the fault. I don't think its a restaurant's job to police its customers. How do they know who is driving and who is not? It's your job and your job alone to make sure you can drive.
Exactly. Think of it this way, for every drunk driver out there that hits someone is it the bar/whatever they got drunk at responcible? NO! The person who took one to many and still went out driving there by breaking the law is at fault, not the bar.

edit: stupid stupid laws....well, IMO this is how it should be.

Last edited by juanvaldes; 06-28-2003 at 12:12 PM..
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Old 06-28-2003, 01:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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if you are a responsible drinker you'd say "i think i've had enough" or "hey bartender i think i need a cab"

if you are a responsible bartender you'd say "hey buddy you need a taxi?"

if you are a greedy fucker you'd say "hey who can i sue?!"

either way this should have been thrown out b4 it even got to court
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Old 06-29-2003, 09:14 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I really just....don't know how to respond to so many things I read these days. It seems there's not much more I can do besides shake my head and hope Outback wins on appeals :/
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Old 06-29-2003, 12:15 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Just my $0.02.

Unlike many of the posters I don't think thak thw $30mil is necessarily excessive. I see that the couple have had to have a $hitload of operations and are almost certainly facing a lot of rehabilitation & medical care - and in America that doesn't come cheap. My point is that there may well be justification for the amount awarded.

My issue is with the level of blame attached to the restaurant. I would have assumed that the drunk is at least 90% responsible for his actions. OK, the restaurant invited him, and gave him a load of free / cheap drink... But they didn't tie him up, put him in the car, start the enging and put the shift into drive! In effect the restaurant is perhaps responsible, say partly responsible for the drunk part, but a drunk is only, say, 10% as dangerous as a drunk driver.

I assume (from the fact that the perpetrator was of sufficient stature to be invited to a restaurant opening that he is of some substance and would carry vehicle insurance. He should lose his assets / his insurance should pay out towards the costs & care of the third party.

Mike.
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Old 06-29-2003, 02:34 PM   #17 (permalink)
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As a waiter/bartender myself, I've been trained in what's known as "Responsible Alcohol Sales" by the Texas Alcoholic Beverages Commission. I'm required to be certified by the restaurant I serve alcohol at. We are responsible not just for creating revenue, but monitoring the health and safety of our guests, both in the restaurant and as they leave. For damn sure the restaurant operators and servers are liable for what happened to that man and woman because they served an intoxicated person, something that violates at least the laws of the State of Texas, if not the vast majority of states over here. Serving more alcohol to someone that is intoxicated is irresponsible, reckless, and should be punished to the greatest extent it can. The fact of the matter is that the decisions of the servers of that alcohol made a conscious decision to let that man drink to excess and ultimately cost those people great harm. Can you put a price on human dignity? Can you put a price on pride? Self-confidence or self-worth? the ability to get up out of bed each morning without the use of artificial walking aides? the ability to walk without a permanent limp? I couldn't. There's no way in hell I could deal with the shame that would be caused by the injuries of those people. If I were the person that had served that man, I would be haunted by the great havoc his drunkenness caused. I have refused to serve people in my restaurant. If I think their safety is endangered or they would endanger others, I will not serve them, and anyone that will should not be allowed near a bottle of beer or liquor. These people didn't get justice though. Justice would be the ability to live free of the pain caused by someone else's negligence. And negligence combined with ignorance has cost these people a significant portion of their life and happiness.

You may think I'm some bleeding-heart liberal, but I see things from the other side of the drink--from the service side. And because I have that perspective, I know exactly the amount of power someone has when they serve alcohol--the power to give relaxation and enjoyment, and the power to make a decision that can cost people their lives and liveliehood. In good conscience, I could not have done what those servers did at that restaurant. I couldn't look myself in the mirror ever again if I did. If the server is still working for Outback that served that man to excess, I guarantee they've been fired, as they should be. What many people fail to understand is that servers ARE indeed liable for their patrons health, all the way home. Servers can be fined and/or jailed for selling alcohol irresponsibly, and that is as it should be. When you sell a legalized form of drug that dulls responses, affects the brain directly and lowers inhibitions that would normally keep someone from overstepping their limits, you have a responsibility, obligation, duty and liability to every person you sell it to. That's the law. Just as anyone with a red cross, blue cross/blue shield, police or EMS insignia on their car is legally responsible for stopping and rendering aid if a first responder has yet to arrive, we as servers of alcohol are legally responsible to be the first safety net for our guests that consume our products. I, as a certified Red Cross trained first responder, can no more drive past an accident where people may be injured than I can sell someone a whole fifth of vodka at my restaurant's bar. In either situation, if I am recognized and accused of doing so, I go to jail or face heavy fines. That's the legal obligation I freely accepted when I got training both as a CPR/First Aid primary respondant and as waiter/bartender. I had to agree to those conditions before I could be certified to do either, so the servers and restaurants know exactly the load they are required to bear when it comes to being fundamentally responsible and safe in their service of alochol.
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Old 06-29-2003, 03:48 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Last week here in Louisville a TGI Friday's was hit with a similar lawsuit for like 20 million after a guy who had been drinking there for like 8 hours drove home and killed 2 high school kids on the interstate. All 3 were killed, and the students parents just wont $21 million.

Should the parents recieve compensation? Yes, but to the tune of 21 mil? Its absurd.

http://www.courier-journal.com/local...620-13603.html
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Old 06-29-2003, 04:01 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Rat, nice human intrest peice there. Really tugs at heartstrings and all. Of course, there is very few facts in the whole thing and they are surrounded by mental imagery. We have no idea how much this man had to drink. You are so quick to say he must have been falling off his ass drunk. So drunk that anyone could look at him and quickly notice he was drunk. Whats to say he didn't have two beers? Would he not then be considered a drunk driver? He probably would but there is a decent chance that the beer did not have much to do with the accident. Did anyone take his BAC? Maybe but it sure wasn't mentioned in this article. The point is there is alot of assumptions we could jump to with this particular case but what about as a whole? So all restaurants and bars should be responsible for what the person does both there and atleast on their way home? What if he stops at a friends for 20 minutes then leaves again? Are you STILL responsible for him till he gets home or just till the friends house? But what if his friends is a block away, he stops there to pick up one thing then drive home, still intoxicated from your bar. Are you THEN responsible for him? What if he smoked pot in your parking lot? He WAS on your property at the time. What if he isn't even drunk. What if you just served him some really good ribs and he got all loggy? What if on his way home he is thinking about those ribs and just sorta drifts asleep for a second. He then wakes up in a ditch. Are you responsible for that? Maybe he should have ate (drank?) less. Is that last scenario as plausible? Now but I am sure it has happened before. What if he is a trucker? What if he stops to get something to eat at midnight. What if he asks for caffinated coffee and you give him non caffinated? He then falls asleep killing a family of four in a VW. You are of course directly responsible.

And 39 million being fare based just on medical bills? Okay I don't know what doctor you are going to but he is ripping you off. I mean it IS expensive but I highly doubt it exceeded even 100K and probably wasn't even that much. I mean even if I did think outback was responsible (which I don't) I don't think they should get more then 200K. That should pay their medical bills as well as put a nice down payment on a decent home.
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Old 10-28-2007, 08:21 AM   #20 (permalink)
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a different perspective

First off, I live in the state where the lawsuit took place. The couple did not seek punitve damages, although their attorney stated to the jury that this would be a great case for punitive damages. A jury of 12 people decided the outcome of this case and awarded them $60 Million. They found that the driver was indeed responsible for 35% of the award (which they will likely never see) and Outback was responsible for 65% ($39 Million that will take forever to collect) Dont forget also that the attorneys will make nearly $21 million (35% of the award) for their services and they will have to pay the hospital bills for the 20+ surgeries that the wife had to endure. The amount left over will be a reasonable few million dollars.

The system may seem like it produces rediculous results but if the results weren't so outlandish companies looking for the almighty dollar would not take them seriously and in many cases still don't. I'm not taking sides because I believe the attorney fees are rediculous but we have a free market where people can choose who to represent them and how much they are willing to pay but I just wanted to offer a different perspective and open your minds to the possibility of how you would look at things if it were your family members that were hit by a drunk driver.

Jeff in Indianapolis, IN USA

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One quick additional note... the case was appealed and denied. then Outback asked for a new trial based on attacking the plaintiff attorneys... denied... they appealed to the supreme court and were awarded an appeal.. Outback had Insurance in the amount of 21 million with one carrier and 19 million with another carrier http://sec.edgar-online.com/2005/11/09/0000874691-05-000193/Section11.asp then offered a settlement which was accepted http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2...ons_m_174.html.

and for BBtB - The key testimony of this case was from an outbacks steakhouse waitress who testified that the driver was quite visibly intoxicated yet the "party" continued at the grand opening event and he was served until he left on his own. He then went to another bar on his way home. The waitress there refused to serve him alchohol and gave him diet cokes instead (allegedly ).. his blood alchohol level was never established as he fled the scene of the accident to which he recieved a year of home incarceration.

------------------

David and Lisa Markley had filed a lawsuit against the owners of the Muncie restaurant in 1999, 2 years after the couple were severely injured in a car-motorcycle accident on Delaware County Road 500-N. In their suit, the Markleys alleged that William J. Whitaker of Albany became intoxicated at a party celebrating the restaurant's grand opening on July 21, 1997. After leaving the restaurant in his car, Whitaker drove to northeastern Delaware County, where his car crossed the center line on County Road 500-N and collided nearly head-on with a motorcycle operated by David Markley. Markley suffered several leg and foot fractures, while his wife, who was a passenger on the motorcycle, was even more seriously injured, suffering massive internal and leg injuries.

Whitaker did not stop at the scene of the crash and was later convicted of two counts of failure to stop after an accident resulting in a serious bodily injury. He was sentenced in 1999 to a year on electronic home detention, followed by 2 years of probation.

According to court documents, Whitaker told police he had a beer and five mixed drinks at Outback Steakhouse before the accident. Some witnesses said alcohol was served free of charge to guests at the restaurant's grand opening party, while others said they had paid a dime each for mixed drinks and beer. "Their grand opening celebrations are like nothing I've ever heard of," Alexander said. "They have free booze, all you want, for 3 hours.

Last edited by jnatkins; 10-28-2007 at 08:57 AM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 10-28-2007, 05:13 PM   #21 (permalink)
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well, if he rhusband was a factury worker and their means of trasnportation was a motorcycle, then i'd say that she was in constant pain every day of her life even before the accident. at the very least, 39 million dollars certainly isn't justified. maybe like 3 million would be more precise


also, outback is headquartered in florida? ...my dreams have been shattered
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Old 10-28-2007, 07:04 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBtB

And 39 million being fare based just on medical bills? Okay I don't know what doctor you are going to but he is ripping you off. I mean it IS expensive but I highly doubt it exceeded even 100K and probably wasn't even that much. I mean even if I did think outback was responsible (which I don't) I don't think they should get more then 200K. That should pay their medical bills as well as put a nice down payment on a decent home.

you aren't too familiar with the cost of medical care in the US, are you?

20 surgeries could easily eat up $500k...possibly more, depending on the type end length of the operations.
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Old 10-28-2007, 07:16 PM   #23 (permalink)
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A lot of you are looking at this dollar amount and thinking it has something to do with the incident's nature and that the couple deserves / doesn't deserve the money. The truth is it doesn't have anything to do with them.

The importance of the punitive damages is so other companies are forced to examine their own policies and make absolutely sure that there will not be similar incidences. This is so corporations don't just decide that it is cheaper to not give a shit. In which case, they are bound by law to their own stockholders to make the decision to not give a shit and make more money. By awarding an hefty economic incentive to not do wrong the courts give corporations the ability to make the right decisions.
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Old 10-28-2007, 07:18 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I'm not sure how much pain and suffering you need to go through for 39 million, but you can sign me up for it. Gladly.
1. I see people who suffer from chronic pain all the time. No amount of money is worth it.

2. You are incorrect that the restaurant is not at fault. Anyone who serves alcohol is responsible for the amount they serve, and that a person they've served does not go drink and drive if they're intoxicated.

3. Have you not considered that the wife has required 40 surgeries? The costs of those surgeries, plus follow-ups and regular doctor's visits alone could be several million.

Their lives were destroyed. With no offense intended- saying you'd gladly take chronic pain and suffering for $39 million is about the most foolish and misguided thing I've ever heard. You have no idea what that kind of suffering (physical and emotional) is like.
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Old 10-28-2007, 08:59 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Individuals should be held responsible for how much they consume especially if they are driving. Restaurants, bars, sporting events, casinos, clubs, class reunions, etc.. should not have to determine which people are driving and how much they consume and how much they can hold.

It is amazing that a jury can find that the drunk is only 35% responsible and the restaurant 65% reponsible for his drinking too much and then driving. Did they think the restaurant forced fed him or something? Did they think the restaurant forced him to drive? This appears to be another example of going after the deep pockets instead of putiing the blame on the real culprit.

We are becoming a nation of blameless victims. I cannot imagine being on a jury that ruled like this one did.
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Old 10-28-2007, 09:31 PM   #26 (permalink)
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sigh......most people would sell their soul for the right price....

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Old 10-28-2007, 11:42 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by analog
1. I see people who suffer from chronic pain all the time. No amount of money is worth it.
I do live in chronic pain. I've never attempted to assign a dollar value to it, but I would not ever think it's value to be so high as all that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by analog
2. You are incorrect that the restaurant is not at fault. Anyone who serves alcohol is responsible for the amount they serve, and that a person they've served does not go drink and drive if they're intoxicated.
This may be legally true, but personally I find it ludicrous that people would pass off personal responsibility in this manner. It should not be your host's responsibility to make sure that you don't do something stupid as a result of their offering alcohol. Similarly, the restaurant should not be held responsible for individual folly. I feel quite confident in asserting that nobody at the event forced the man to drink (let alone drink to the point of intoxication), nor did anyone there force him to subsquently get behind the wheel of his car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by analog
3. Have you not considered that the wife has required 40 surgeries? The costs of those surgeries, plus follow-ups and regular doctor's visits alone could be several million.
Much of which should have been covered by the driver's insurance. This is why liability insurance is (and should be) mandatory for vehicle owners; when the worst happens, the owners are in most cases unable to cover the costs. Even if the driver had no insurance, I doubt very much that the tally would be anywhere close to $40 million.

Quote:
Originally Posted by analog
Their lives were destroyed. With no offense intended- saying you'd gladly take chronic pain and suffering for $39 million is about the most foolish and misguided thing I've ever heard. You have no idea what that kind of suffering (physical and emotional) is like.
Nobody's debating that these people have suffered. Or at least, I most certainly am not. The question isn't whether they should receive some form of recompense, but rather what that reasonable amount should be and who should be considered liable to pay it. I would not want to be the person to attach a dollar value to the livelihoods and well-being of two people, but even so I think $39 million is a bit excessive to say the least. Similarly, I don't believe that the establishment owners did anything morally wrong, even if they are legally responsible.
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Old 10-29-2007, 05:07 AM   #28 (permalink)
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1) The facts in the article are wrong. If you look up my posting history and see what I do, you'll hopefully have a clue as to why I'm not going to say any more than that about this particular accident.

2) In most states, punitive damages are insurable. Not all, but most. That means that the insurance companies are paying for them.

3) Most people only carry minimal amounts of liability insurance. Most states have a $20,000 minimum, which would be burned up almost immediately by an accident like this.

I doubt I can find much more to say in this particular thread.
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Old 10-29-2007, 07:02 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jnatkins
First off...
Wow, a 4 year old thread bounce, I'm impressed. It seems you have a lot of background on this subject; mind sharing what your interest in it is?
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Old 10-29-2007, 07:22 AM   #30 (permalink)
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According to the law the bar is liable however I don't think these laws are fair. If a person drinks they should be responsible for there actions not anyone else.
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Old 10-29-2007, 08:51 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Personally I'm not a fan of dram shop laws, I think that they tend to shift responsibility away from where it belongs, to another person or a business often with deeper pockets. I think that the adults who drink should be the only person responsible for their drunken behaviour, because they were the people who by their own choice, got intoxicated. If they drive under the influence of alcohol, they, and only they, should be responsible for the consequences of their actions.

Dram shop laws, essentially make one adult responsible for the behaviour of another adult. What's a restaurant to do if a person who is clearly drunk refuses to listen to them, w/r/t driving a vehicle, or taking an offered ride? Sure the restaurant/bar can call the cops, but the cops take time to arrive, and by then the intoxicated person can leave. In addition some drunks are violent, and I wouldn't want to task (under the law) any adult, outside of law enforcement, with having to physically restrain another adult, especially if the adult that is offending is physically bigger/stronger, than the person who would be tasked with restraining them. Bars may also not necessarily know just how drunk that the person is in question, they may know how many they gave the guy, but they don't know what he got before he arrived, or after he left. They also don't necessarily know the tolerance for alcohol that any particular person has. Should bars & restaurants require anyone who had so much as 1 drink to blow into a breathalizer? Should they be required to take the keys? I think not. IMO the blame should go to the drunk driver, not the restaurant, so I would tend to oppose the dram shop laws that allow liability to be attached to the person selling the booze.
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Old 10-29-2007, 07:25 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Maybe they will sue the car manufacteur for making a car that you can start when drunk.

Laywer fees should have an upper limit. Not be a percentage. $1 million should be the most any laywer firm could get for one case.

They should have put this guy in jail for at least 4-8 years for drunk driving and hit and run. And then not be allowed to drive for another 10.

The couple needs to be reimbursed for costs, lost wages and pain & suffering. $10 million should do it. ($5 million per person max)
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:00 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I think a lot of people are forgetting/overlooking the fact that people under the influence are somewhat at a loss for decision-making skills. Their intoxication impairs their judgment, hence they may not realize they shouldn't drive.

How many times have you had a clearly drunk person insist they're not drunk? I rest my case. The point is, if they get drunk and their judgment is impaired, the people who provided the beer have been given the responsibility to keep that dangerous person off the road. Do you have any idea how much drunk driving stats would go up if bars/etc had no responsibility to look after their alcohol-consuming patrons?

The law started BECAUSE the last line of defense against drinking and driving is the last person who sees them before they get in the car.

Would any of you saying "the bar shouldn't be responsible" and "one adult shouldn't be held responsible for the actions of another adult" allow a drunk friend to get into their car? Your concern for other human beings shouldn't be limited to your friend- it should extend out to people in obvious, immediate peril.

Of course, many people don't think drinking and driving is all that bad. Those people are stupid assholes.
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:36 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analog
I think a lot of people are forgetting/overlooking the fact that people under the influence are somewhat at a loss for decision-making skills. Their intoxication impairs their judgment, hence they may not realize they shouldn't drive.
The time for the realization comes at the beginning, when they soberly plan a night of drinking. They don't get to evade responsibility through poor planning.

Quote:
The law started BECAUSE the last line of defense against drinking and driving is the last person who sees them before they get in the car.
That's all well and true, but coding this moral imperative into a legal responsibility is just as despicable as those good samaritan laws that gave us a lackluster Seinfeld finale. "It's the right thing to do" doesn't always translate into "It's the right thing for us to force you to do it". They're selling a legal product to someone able to use it legally. Regardless of laws that state otherwise, regardless of how widespread these laws are, the idea that the seller should be held responsible for misuse is still fucking reprehensible.

Quote:
Would any of you saying "the bar shouldn't be responsible" and "one adult shouldn't be held responsible for the actions of another adult" allow a drunk friend to get into their car?
Would you have lax friends held legally responsible for the drunk driving of other friends? I wouldn't. The choice and the fault lie squarely with the drunk driver. "You ought to babysit" and "We ought to make you babysit" do NOT go hand in hand.

Quote:
Of course, many people don't think drinking and driving is all that bad. Those people are stupid assholes.
Can't argue with this.
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:59 AM   #35 (permalink)
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It's called punitive damages people. Outback should not be serving so much liquor to someone that they become falling down drunk. They're more than happy to take in lots and lots of money getting people drunk. They're dispensing a known intoxicant, they must share at least partial responsibility for its effects if they are the ones who allowed the guy to have the booze.

Now, a big mondo chain like Outback has lots and lots of money. They go through hundreds of thousands a week just buying steaks. A pissant little $100,000 judgement certainly won't teach 'em not to do it again. Hell I bet they make that much (or more) chain-wide per month on drinks alone. So you slap 'em with something that makes them say "Hey, maybe it's a good idea if we actually obeyed the law next time."

Is the drunk responsible? Hell yes, and he too should be sued into oblivion, but the restaurant serving a known drunk is also responsible.
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:09 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Well... my aunt was killed when she was hit by a NYC bus. Their family didn't sue the driver, they sued the city and a couple years later they got a settlement of maybe 20K? I don't recall precisely... but I know it wasn't enough to make up for it.

Anyway, to see what their family went through and are still going through... I don't think you can put a price tag on how life-altering something like this can be. One minute you're healthy as can be and the next you're undergoing multiple surgeries and committed to a year of intensive physical therapy which will go on for the rest of your life.

Sure, people take advantage of the system (like when buses crash and people run aboard to hold their necks and moan in pain), but I don't think you can judge the people with a legitimate beef based on the abusers of the system.

I'm totally with you Shak. Corporations should absolutely be held accountable.
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Old 11-01-2007, 02:19 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxxafterglow
I'm totally with you Shak. Corporations should absolutely be held accountable.
It seems like a good idea to hold the evil restaurant corporations responsible but what about the little mom and pop restaurants and bars, etc..? Do we really want to blame wedding party organizers, etc.. for those who over do it?

I recently attended my class reunion where there was an open self serve bar and self serve coolers at the picnic the next day. Many of us drank too much (my wife was driving). Should we hold the two gals who volunteered their time to organize the event responsible when someone drinks too much and drives?

We should not expect the servers, bartenders, etc..to know who is driving and who has consumed more than they can hold. The blame should be put right where it belongs, on those who decide to get drunk and drive.
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Old 11-01-2007, 04:08 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
It's called punitive damages people. Outback should not be serving so much liquor to someone that they become falling down drunk. They're more than happy to take in lots and lots of money getting people drunk. They're dispensing a known intoxicant, they must share at least partial responsibility for its effects if they are the ones who allowed the guy to have the booze.

Now, a big mondo chain like Outback has lots and lots of money. They go through hundreds of thousands a week just buying steaks. A pissant little $100,000 judgement certainly won't teach 'em not to do it again. Hell I bet they make that much (or more) chain-wide per month on drinks alone. So you slap 'em with something that makes them say "Hey, maybe it's a good idea if we actually obeyed the law next time."

Is the drunk responsible? Hell yes, and he too should be sued into oblivion, but the restaurant serving a known drunk is also responsible.
Nice idea, but that's not how it worked. Outback didn't pay. Their insurance companies did.
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Old 11-01-2007, 05:06 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Jazz
Nice idea, but that's not how it worked. Outback didn't pay. Their insurance companies did.

Sadly you're right, but we can hope the ins. co. jacked up their rate for it. . .
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Old 11-01-2007, 05:49 PM   #40 (permalink)
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what you all seem to forget is that it costs more to live comfortably without a job than it does to live comfortably with a job.
I dunno, I always spend money on my day off, more than i would if i were working that day. Entertainment costs monies.
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