After a five-week trial, a Rhode Island jury found Twin River Casino, Royal Liquors liquor store, and an 18-year-old drunk driver liable in a dram shop case where the driver crashed, his teenage girlfriend (and mother of their child) was paralyzed from the waist down, and her friend was ejected from the vehicle.
The paralyzed teen was awarded $23 million in damages, plus interest.
Twin River violated the Rhode Island Liquor Liability act by serving alcohol to the visibly intoxicated teenager, after he had already allegedly purchased alcohol from Royal Liquors.
The teenager was sentenced for two years in prison after pleading guilty on two counts of driving to endanger resulting in serious bodily injury, and one count of DUI.
A spokesperson for Twin River has indicated that the casino may appeal the decision due to “inconsistencies” with evidence used by the defense.
This case is a reminder that there are an endless number of driving distractions.
EndDD informs us that a driver can be distracted visually (taking eyes off the road), manually (taking hands off the wheel), or cognitively (taking the mind off the road).
In the Rhode Island dram shop case, the driver was cognitively impaired, and alcohol was unfortunately the culprit.
More info on the Rhode Island dram shop case can be found in the article written by Defense Litigation Insider.
Photo: courtesy of Defense Litigation Insider.