South Plainfield Nightclub Liable for Drunk Driving Accident
A state appeals court has set out guidelines for judges in dram shop cases where a tavern's defense is that an imbiber's high alcohol tolerance made his drunkenness too hard to detect. The ruling, in Davis v. Barkaszi, A-2345-10, means a new trial for a South Plainfield nightclub found liable for negligently served alcohol to a patron who later got into an accident, injuring his passenger. The defense should have been allowed to use non-expert testimony to counter the plaintiff's expert testimony that Barkaszi's tolerance was about the same as anyone else's, the panel said, citing Panko v. Grimes, 40 N.J. Super. 588 (1956), which held questions of tolerance are for a jury to decide.
EVIDENCE OF PATRON'S ALCOHOL TOLERANCE HELD RELEVANT TO DRAM SHOP LIABILITY
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