IS A BAR RESPONSIBLE IF A DRUNK PARTON FALLS AND BECOMES SEVERELY INJURED?

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IS A BAR RESPONSIBLE IF A DRUNK PARTON FALLS AND BECOMES SEVERELY INJURED?

Asked on December 2, 2010 under Personal Injury, New York

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Depending on the facts of the case, the bar may be liable for negligence.  Negligence is based on exercising due care (that degree of care that a reasonable bar would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable injury).  If it was reasonable for a bar to have taken precautions to have prevented a drunk patron from falling, the failure to do so would constitute a breach of the duty of care.  The drunk patron would have to prove that he/she was owed a duty of care by the bar, that the bar breached the duty of care and the breach of the duty of care was the actual and proximate cause of the injury.  Actual cause means but for the bar taking precautions to prevent the patron from falling, would the injury have occurred?  If the answer is no, actual cause has been established. If the answer is yes, actual cause has not been established.  Proximate cause means were there any  intervening events that were unforeseeable that would relieve the bar of liability?  If the answer is no, the bar is liable for negligence.  If the answer is yes, the bar is not liable.  The bar could assert the defense of assumption of the risk which means the patron recognized and understood the danger and voluntarily chose to encounter it.  If your state uses comparative negligence, then the bar's liability may be reduced due to the patron being drunk and inebriation causing the injury.


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