The field of liquor liability is of increasing interest and importance in our community. Florida’s “dram shop” statute is the state’s response to the ever-increasing problem of minors and alcoholics who seriously injure themselves or others while intoxicated.
Still, Florida’s statute is one of the nation’s most restrictive for plaintiffs, particularly in a tourist-friendly state. Florida law provides that if establishments such as hotels, restaurants or bars knowingly serve minors or habitual abusers of alcohol, they may become liable for any injuries or damage resulting from that patron’s intoxication. That word “knowingly” is what makes the Florida statute so restrictive.
Despite the challenges posed by state law, Partner Wm. Andrew Haggard has successfully represented people designated under Florida law to be the victims of restaurant or bar negligence. Mr. Haggard has effectively litigated many significant liquor/bar negligence cases in South Florida, including Fox v. The Clevelander, MacLean v. Flirts, and Linnes v. Holiday Isle. The successful conclusion of these cases has served to more clearly define the responsibilities of establishments serving liquor.