I would like to know whether bar owners are strictly liable under a Dram Shot Act (As opposed to just negligent). Thanks
Yes, NJ has Dram Shop. Also, there is an alternative which most people don't know about.
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Yes, NJ has a Dram Shop Act, but there is no strict liability. A license serve can be found liable for negligently serving alcohol to a visibly intoxicated patron or to a minor.
Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advise and you should not rely on it, due to the fact that we have never met, I have not been aprised of the facts in you case nor have I reviewed any documents.
Ms. Navarette is correct. Unless the bar personelle were aware they were serving a drunk or minor, There is no liability
Still must prove negligence in their conduct. Consult with a local injury lawyer to discuss the facts of your case to see if liability can be shown.
There is a dram shop act in NJ. Contact a NJ lawyer if you have further questions
Contact me for further detailed questions and answers. 215-561-0877 DISCLAIMER: Matthew Solomon is licensed to practice law in both the State of Pennsylvania and the State of New Jersey.This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. This answer does not constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.
The New Jersey Licensed Alcoholic Beverage Server Fair Liability Act, states that "a person who sustains personal injury or property damage as a result of the negligent service of alcoholic beverages by a licensed alcoholic beverage server may recover damages." This Dram Shop Act can be found at N.J.S.A. §§ 2A:22A-1 to -7. For a personal injury recovery, strict liability is not the standard for recovery. One must show negligence, causation and damages.
The definition section of the Act is important. "Visibly intoxicated" means a state of intoxication accompanied by a perceptible act or series of acts which present clear signs of intoxication. N.J. Stat. § 2A:22A-3. To recover under the law, the following must be shown:
§ 2A:22A-5. Conditions for recovery of damages
a. A person who sustains personal injury or property damage as a result of the negligent service of alcoholic beverages by a licensed alcoholic beverage server may recover damages from a licensed alcoholic beverage server only if:
(1) The server is deemed negligent pursuant to subsection b. of this section; and
(2) The injury or damage was proximately caused by the negligent service of alcoholic beverages; and
(3) The injury or damage was a foreseeable consequence of the negligent service of alcoholic beverages.
b. A licensed alcoholic beverage server shall be deemed to have been negligent only when the server served a visibly intoxicated person, or served a minor, under circumstances where the server knew, or reasonably should have known, that the person served was a minor.
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Legal disclaimer: The statement above is general information and not intended to be a legal opinion to be followed. The person requesting information and all others reading the answer should retain an attorney before making a decision. The information provided does not create an attorney-client relationship. Contact our office to obtain specific legal advice.
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