An Illinois man is seeking more than $50,000 in damages after being punched in a saloon. The saloon allegedly sold alcohol to a customer who became drunk and punched the victim, causing him to fall and strike his head. As a result of injuries he received, the victim was hospitalized for a short time. The victim has now filed a two-count suit against the saloon seeking at least $50,000 to cover doctors’ bills and other expenses plus damages that include pain and suffering.
One of the counts is based on the Illinois Dram Shop Act which states that any retailer selling liquor to an intoxicated customer who then causes damage is liable if a plaintiff’s allegations can be proven. The victim’s attorney says the saloon should have anticipated incidents of this nature during that time of night and claims that the establishment should have made preparations to handle them. However, the only person who was there to keep order was one female bar tender.
The saloon’s attorney maintains that the person who hit the plaintiff punched him because the victim was involved in a confrontation with another person. According to his statements, the Illinois Dram Shop Act does not apply in these circumstances. He says that in order for the act to apply, the perpetrator has to be drunk, and the attorney suggests that the man who hit the plaintiff, who has pleaded guilty battery, was not intoxicated.
In an effort to argue the count based on the Illinois Dram Shop Act, the victim’s attorney may be able to produce eyewitnesses who will testify that the perpetrator was drunk at the time of the incident. In proving the second count, it may be possible to show that having one female bar tender on duty at that time of night does not constitute adequate security.
Source: The Telegraph, “Testimony continues in bar trial”, Sanford Schmidt, February 05, 2014