Case Study: Liquor Liability

In this case, we helped secure a financial settlement for the family of a young woman who was tragically killed by a drunk driver.

One evening, after spending some time drinking beer at a social club, he chose to drive himself home. On the drive home, his SUV crossed a median and slammed into a young mother’s car, killing her instantly. The young mother was survived by a brother, parents, and her 8 year old daughter. While the driver was charged with vehicular homicide and was sentenced to several years in prison, the young woman’s family was devastated by this senseless tragedy.

Why This Case Matters

After the accident, the young woman’s parents were left scrambling to bear the burden of raising their granddaughter, while simultaneously dealing with their grief at the loss of their own daughter. We took on this case in order to seek justice and compensation for the victim’s parents against the underinsured driver of the SUV.

How We Built
A Winning Case

01 Investigate

We began our case by investigating the social club who served beer to the intoxicated driver during the evening of the accident. Videotapes obtained from the social club depicted the defendant as swaying and having an unsteady gait prior to the time he was served. Pennsylvania law prohibits a liquor licensee from serving a patron alcoholic beverages if that individual is visibly intoxicated.

02 Analyze

Based on the footage of the driver in the videotape, the case could move forward. The intoxicated driver testified while he was still in prison, conceding that he displayed behaviors that clearly showed he was intoxicated, while at the social club. Based on this testimony, his lawyers approached us about the possibility of pursuing mediation.

03 Synthesize

It was necessary to convey to the defense the unfathomable loss that was sustained by our clients’ 8 year old granddaughter. In order to portray the damages associated with the loss, our team interviewed approximately 20 individuals who knew the young mother well. Each witness was asked to relate a story about the young mother that best exemplified her character. These stories—unrehearsed, full of emotion, and heartfelt—conveyed the full extent of the loss by showing how she lived her life. The video recordings of the stories were shared during mediation and made great impact on defense counsel.

The Result

The same day of mediation, we obtained a sizable settlement from the social club that provided a sense of comfort to our clients and provided a future for their granddaughter, the victim’s daughter.

We were able to help this family through such a trying and difficult time, which left an impact on all our lives.

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