Kevin Sullivan at Sauter Sullivan represented a 37 year old construction worker named Robert “Bobbie” Wilson. He was on his way home shortly after midnight on Highway 270 when he was hit by a wrong way drunk driver. He had a burst fracture in his back at L-3 and injuries to his right toe and foot. He had pretty significant medical bills and was out of work for a while. Unfortunately, the drunk driver that caused the crash did not have nearly enough insurance coverage to compensate Bobbie for his serious injuries. During our investigation of the crash, we learned that the wrong way drunk driver had been drinking all night on his birthday at a bar called Redbirds Sports Café in St. Louis. He crashed in to Bobbie’s vehicle shortly after leaving the bar.
Kevin filed a lawsuit to hold the bar responsible for serving the drunk driver too much alcohol that night which resulted in the highway crash. A claim against a restaurant or bar based upon overserving alcohol to a customer is called a dram shop claim. In Missouri, in order to hold a bar responsible for the conduct of a drunk driver you have to prove that the customer was “visibly intoxicated” at the time the customer was served alcohol at the bar. This is a difficult standard because, of course, the bar and its employees never admit that the person they served was ever “visibly intoxicated” and therefore it is hard to prove and win your case. During our lawsuit, we were able to obtain a detailed computer receipt that showed that the man was at the bar for 4 ½ hours and that during that period of time he was served and paid for 192 ounces of beer (Sam Adams) and 6 Jameson whiskey shots. We also obtained the alcohol influence report in which the investigating police officer confirmed that the driver was highly intoxicated and documented admissions from the man that he had been drinking way too much at Redbirds just before the crash. Finally, we also were able to get a blood alcohol test result from shortly after the accident that confirmed the man was intoxicated at the time of the crash. Given all of this evidence, we were able to convince the insurance company for Redbirds that the bar was responsible and that the man must have been “visibly intoxicated” when he was served the alcohol at the bar. A fair settlement was reached for Bobbie on his dram shop claim against the bar. Kevin Sullivan was able to obtain an $850,000 settlement for his client.
If you or a loved one have been injured or harmed by a drunk driver please call Kevin Sullivan at the Sauter Sullivan Law Firm.