In this blog post, we will discuss New York's so-called dram shop laws. Many of us know someone who has a story of visiting a bar, restaurant or night club when a fight broke out between patrons. Under New York N.Y. GOB. Law Code § 11-101, an innocent bystander who is injured in the brawl may have a valid premises liability claim for compensation for medical treatment and lost earnings. But a property owner's responsibility for providing adequate security extends beyond fights on the premises.
Robberies, Muggings And Threats
Under dram shop laws - owners of bars and restaurants with liquor licenses are responsible for the actions of their customers who were served alcohol on the premises. A patron who has been served too much to drink by a bartender, for example, may leave the premises and engage in an illegal activity such as drinking and driving or assaulting a person on the street, in which the victim suffered serious injuries.
The law reads in part, "Any person who shall be injured in person, property, means of support, or otherwise by any intoxicated person, or by reason of the intoxication of any person...shall have a right of civil action against any person who shall...have caused or contributed to such intoxication; and in any such action such person shall have a right to recover actual and exemplary damages."
If the victim can establish that the perpetrator was intoxicated due to being served an excessive amount of alcohol, the owner of the establishment may share dram shop liability in civil court. For many victims of assault and armed robbery, these types of lawsuits are the only avenue for recovering the monetary compensation they need and deserve.
Winning Requires Strong Evidence Of A Direct Connection
In order to successfully sue a proprietor in civil court based on New York dram shop laws, your New York City personal injury lawyer must demonstrate that a) the criminal's intoxication was a direct result of being served excessive amounts of alcohol at a local business establishment; and b) the intoxication directly resulted in an uncharacteristic act of aggression.