When a car accident victim files a lawsuit seeking damages for life-altering injuries received in a crash, there are often many defending parties named in the suit: drivers, vehicle and auto parts manufacturers, state transportation officials, or any of a number of others. A South Hackensack bar is finding itself as one such defendant after it was found 20 percent responsible for the severe injuries sustained by a New Jersey man based on New Jersey dram shop laws.
On October 8, 2008, the Pleasure Lounge bar on Route 46 in South Hackensack continued to sell alcohol to a woman after she was openly and visibly intoxicated, and then allowed the woman to leave the bar and get behind the wheel, the lawsuit alleged. Under New Jersey's dram shop liability laws, bars and other vendors of alcohol can be held legally responsible for injuries, property destruction and other damages caused by those who were served alcohol by the vendor. To fall under the law, the person served must either be visibly intoxicated or a minor when they were served alcohol by the vendor.
On the night in question, the intoxicated woman left the Pleasure Lounge and picked up a friend from a nearby restaurant. Approximately 15 minutes later, the woman crashed her vehicle into a utility pole in Ridgefield, injuring both driver and passenger. The driver primarily suffered lacerations to her head, which required a brief hospitalization. But the passenger suffered extensive injuries, and has been in constant medical and rehabilitative care since the car accident.
A jury recently awarded $4.1 million to the victim, which is needed for continuing medical care. The driver was found to be 80 percent responsible for the Hackensack car accident, and the Pleasure Lounge 20 percent, in recognition of its important role in preventing drunk driving crashes, injuries and deaths.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a drunk driving accident, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.
Source: NorthJersey.com, "South Hackensack bar ordered to pay $800,000 under crash suit", Kibret Markos, 31 January 2011