Casino Faces Unusual Dram Shop Lawsuit

A dram shop case is a somewhat uncommon type of lawsuit typically filed against the provider of alcohol after a patron causes a drunk driving accident. Dram shop cases can be filed against restaurants, bars and sometimes private homeowners who knowingly serve alcohol to visibly intoxicated individuals who go on to drive.

Typically the people injured by the drunk drivers are the ones who file dram shop cases. One of the most recent high-profile dram shop cases is a wrongful death lawsuit filed by a family against a casino that over served their loved one. The case doesn’t involve driving, but rather the family alleges that the casino continued serving the man copious amounts of alcohol despite their pleas for the casino to stop. The man eventually died on the floor of his hotel bathroom.

The lawsuit alleges that one casino waitress continued to serve the man even when a family friend pointed out that the man just fell out of his chair.

“The waitress snapped back, “I don’t know who you are, but he’s grown and he asked me to bring him these,” the lawsuit alleges. The waitress then allegedly walked around the friend and continued to serve the man, even after the man’s brother substantiated the friend’s observation of the man falling.

The casino then continued serving the man free drinks at a rate of two at a time. Security guards ignored the family’s pleas for help and casino employees kept coaxing the heavily intoxicated man back to gamble. Family members eventually discovered the man dying in the bathroom floor of their hotel room.

“Despite their best efforts to save him from harm, Bryan (the intoxicated man) was slowly poisoned, while his friend and family, including Chris and Joanne, helplessly watched,” the lawsuit alleges. “After the Casino hauled Bryan, minutes from death, to his room and left him without providing any aid, Bryan collapsed on the bathroom floor, dying. When he was found, Chris and Joanne watched in painful horror as Bryan’s friend, Pam, tried to save their loved one, without any help from the Casino “medic”, who did not have her “mouthpiece.”

The family is seeking $75 million in damages.

Source: Glenn v. Imperial Palace Casino, 2012 WL 3650022, July 25, 2012