Last week, a Corpus Christi jury issued a historic verdict that awarded $18,750,000 to the surviving parents of a victim killed in a drunk driving accident. The verdict was issued against the bar that over served the drunk driver, as opposed to the driver himself, under the Texas Dram Shop Act. Under this act, victims of alcohol-related injuries may hold the liquor serving establishment responsible for serving patrons it knows to be already intoxicated.
In this case, Jonathan Palacios was served at least 17 drinks and was exhibiting numerous signs of intoxication when he was finally kicked out of the bar and escorted to his car by bar staff. Only seven minutes after being led to his vehicle, Palacios was driving the wrong way down Texas State Highway 358 when he crashed head-on into 18 year-old Bryant Hernandez. Both men died at the scene of the crash.
An autopsy performed on Palacios revealed that his blood alcohol level was 0.24 at the time of his death – three times the legal limit for intoxication in Texas. In Texas, bars and other liquor serving establishments know that it is illegal to continue serving alcohol to patrons who are obviously intoxicated. Hopefully, this verdict will send a strong message to those that serve alcohol to drivers on our Texas roadways.
If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a drunk driver or alcohol-related accident, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or 800-594-4884.