Liquor Liability Defense
Liquor liability under Dram Shop laws typically arises in situations where alcohol is served to a visibly (MI) or noticeably (OH) intoxicated person, or when alcohol is served to a minor. The financial penalties liquor liability can impose are staggering, and can have a deeply adverse effect for insurance companies that insure bars, restaurants and other establishments that serve alcohol. This is especially true in cases where serious bodily injury or death is a result of the intoxicated person’s actions.
At Anselmi Mierzejewski Ruth & Sowle P.C., we know Michigan’s Dram Shop Act has some unique defenses not common in all types of liquor liability acts around the country. We know how to fully utilize these defenses to keep costs contained for our insurance defense clients. Our attorneys are also available to consult on such cases in the other states where they are licensed.
Insightful Liquor Liability Defense Strategies
Although we are equipped to defend against all possible Dram Shop violations, there are two scenarios that present especially effective defenses. These situations involve:
Underage drinking: If the establishment serving alcohol can objectively demonstrate it was presented a fake ID, there is a rebuttable presumption the establishment did not serve alcohol to a minor. We use our decades of trial experience to gather the evidence necessary to mount an effective defense against underage drinking claims.
Multiple Dram Shop defendants: If an establishment can demonstrate it was not the last place where the defendant was served alcohol before the injury-causing event, there exists a rebuttable presumption the establishments that served alcohol before the final stop are not liable.
Our skilled attorneys use these and all other available defenses including the necessity of direct evidence of visible intoxication as established in the Michigan Supreme Court’s Opinion in Reed v Beach Bar Inc., 475 Mich 531 (2006) to dispose of cases or reach a favorable resolution as early as possible. Should a trial be necessary, our keen advocacy skills provide your company with the edge it needs in these complex, high-risk cases.