Dram Shop Liability
St. Paul Dram Shop Lawyer
In Minnesota strict laws exist regulating the sale of alcoholic beverages by restaurants, bars, and liquor stores. These laws are found in the Minnesota Civil Damages Act, codified in Minnesota Statute 304A.801. The purpose of the Act is to protect the public, penalize liquor vendors who make illegal sales of alcohol, and provide remedies to third-parties who are injured as a result of another’s intoxication. Under the law, a spouse, child, parent, guardian, employer, or other person injured in person, property, or means of support, or who incurs other pecuniary loss by an intoxicated person or by the intoxication of another person . . .has a right to pursue a claim. Minn. Stat. 304A.801, Subd. 1. The Civil Damages Act does not create a claim for an intoxicated person who is injured by his or her own actions.
Illegal sales can include serving or selling alcohol to obviously intoxicated individuals, sales to persons under the age of 21, sales made after hours, or sales that violate the terms of specific licenses held by liquor vendors. Despite an illegal sale, a plaintiff will still have to prove that (1) an illegal sale occurred, (2) the illegal sale contributed to one’s intoxication, (3) the intoxication was the proximate cause of plaintiff’s injuries, and (4) the plaintiff has compensable damages. There are strict claims notice requirements that must be satisfied in order to purse a dram shop claim against the establishment that served or sold the alcohol illegally.
This is complex area of law that requires attorney assistance. These cases frequently involve multiple liquor vendors, and corresponding automobile liability, no-fault insurance, punitive damage, and other insurance claims. Prompt investigation is important in identifying all involved parties. Also, frequently the intoxicated person who caused injury will not want to cooperate in providing information given criminal charges that often arise in these cases.
Contact Richard O’Dea – A St. Paul Personal Injury Attorney
The O’Dea Law Firm has successfully handled numerous dram shop claims. Mr. O’Dea works with investigators, toxicologists, and other experts, who have extensive experience with these types of cases, and who will work hard to uncover the facts that are supportive of our client’s claims.
For a free consultation, call the O’Dea Law Firm/Richard O’Dea now.