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Tiger Woods Being Sued for Wrongful Death of Bartender

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6 minutes ago, iacas said:

 

You're missing out on the fact that "responsibility" is not 100% assignable to one person, @David in FL. Others were culpable, and like @DeadMan has pointed out repeatedly, as a lawyer, tort law has existed and exists for very good reasons.

Of course lawyers are against any kind of tort reform.  Where would they get their 40%?!

 Shakespeare had it right…!   ;-)

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55 minutes ago, Bucki1968 said:

I don't think it's possible for a bartender to know how drunk a customer is. I know from personal experience that you can sit at a bar and function normally and be pretty buzzed. Obviously if the signs are there (having trouble walking, slurring speech, etc.) it's much easier to cut someone off and send them home. And to know a customer is an alcoholic? I guess they should carry around a card or wear a chain or something? This entire debate has gone on for years and will be going on for many years to come. Maybe a breathalyzer before you leave a bar/restaurant? 

Most of these laws only make the bar liable when the person is obviously drunk. In this specific case, the guy had a BAC of .28. A bartender would notice that, not only from the guy's action, but that it would take 12+ drinks over 3 hours to get to that point.

There are definitely a lot of cases where it's hard for restaurant staff to police this. Someone who had 3 beers in an hour is probably over the legal limit but may not appear drunk at all. And this is why a lot of these laws make it so the person has to be visibly drunk to impose liability.

By the way, these laws do appear to reduce deaths from drunk driving:

Maybe having bars take some, ahem, responsibility for ensuring their patrons don't drive drunk is actually a good thing. Just a thought.

Edited by iacas
years -> hours

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8 minutes ago, iacas said:

That's not what I said.

There is, actually, for bartenders.

You're missing out on the fact that "responsibility" is not 100% assignable to one person, @David in FL. Others were culpable, and like @DeadMan has pointed out repeatedly, as a lawyer, tort law has existed and exists for very good reasons.

Exactly, @David in FL, you're using a very narrow definition of responsibility. For example, a fedex driver gets drunk and runs someone over. Who's responsible? Clearly the driver. But so is Fedex. It's their employee, and there are laws to protect our society that allow us to share responsibility. Sometimes it's not fair, but it allows us to take risks and function a lot better as a group.

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1 minute ago, saevel25 said:

No he didn't.

Just because he bought a car doesn't mean he will drive it. What if he bought a car for his daughter?

He sat down at a bar to drink. The bartenders kept giving him drinks well past the point of were he should have functioning reasoning working properly.  The bartenders then continued to take advantage of this state by giving him more alcohol. Most good bartenders know when to cut off a patron. I've seen it happen. A college kid walked came into this bar I go to already smashed. The bar would not serve him.

What hurts the bar more. Firing a bartender who lets a person get wasted behind comprehension or getting sued and having to close business? If a bar cared about their patrons they would do everything in their power to keep that person at the bar, give them water or food, and let them become less drunk.

And if the daughter causes a wreck?

Certainly there are times when a bartender will cut someone off.  Legislating when that must be done, is virtually impossible though.  Kind of “when is a divot no longer a divot” thing.  Of course, lawyers like to use the vague standard of reasonableness.  If only that could be specifically quantified.  But it can’t. 

What will CLOSE the bar, is when they don’t have any bartenders, and can’t hire any.  

1 minute ago, DeadMan said:

Perhaps I should’ve mentioned that in response to your Abe Simpson remark.  ;-)

 

Ok, enough.  I’m going to play golf.  With a PI attorney.    :-D

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Isn't the argument here more along the lines that Woods and his girlfriend had a particular knowledge of this employee's alcoholic issues and, as a result, had a reasonable duty of care to prevent him from drinking in their establishment?

The guy's lack of personal responsibility is beside the point. He's dead. 

What remains is the question were TW and his girlfriend (through their employee bartender) negligent in allowing the deceased to drink at their bar given his history. If so, what if  any damages should his family be awarded.

 

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37 minutes ago, Bucki1968 said:

I don't think it's possible for a bartender to know how drunk a customer is. I know from personal experience that you can sit at a bar and function normally and be pretty buzzed. Obviously if the signs are there (having trouble walking, slurring speech, etc.) it's much easier to cut someone off and send them home. And to know a customer is an alcoholic? I guess they should carry around a card or wear a chain or something? This entire debate has gone on for years and will be going on for many years to come. Maybe a breathalyzer before you leave a bar/restaurant? 

What definitely IS possible is for a bartender to know how much a particular patron has been served.  After all, each drink is (in theory) paid for.  The bartender can reasonably be expected to know when a patron has been served enough alcohol to get to a BAC of 0.25%, 3 times the legal limit.  This wasn't a few beers over three hours, this was LOTS of drinks.

I agree that its hard to know that a customer is an alcoholic, in general.  But when that customer is a co-worker, possibly (probably) has talked about his drinking problems and/or alcoholism, possibly has caused problems by being drunk after work before, I can understand the expectation that bartenders and/or management is aware of his addition.  None of us know what the guy has actually done or said, but its not unreasonable to believe that management was aware of his alcoholism.

A lot of this goes to policies of the restaurant, and enforcement of those policies.  Are bartenders allowed to drink while on duty? Are off-duty employees allowed (or encouraged) to drink in the bar after their shift ends?  Are off-duty bartenders allowed to serve themselves? Are bartenders encouraged to keep serving drunk customers?  Are bartenders trained to recognize when a customer has had too much?  Are policies actually enforced?   

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4 minutes ago, Tiga Tiga Woods Yall said:

If bartenders/bar owners can be held accountable then gun shop owners better buckle up. 

If they sell guns in a way that violates the law.

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18 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

If they sell guns in a way that violates the law.

Right.

This topic is allowed because it involves Tiger Woods, @Tiga Tiga Woods Yall. It's not going to get off topic and into more political topics, like guns.

This is your only warning.

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1 hour ago, saevel25 said:

bartenders kept giving him drinks well past the point of were he should have functioning

We don’t know that right? As @iacas asked, maybe he was serving himself. 

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8 hours ago, NationwideTourCrimsonTide said:

All laws passed by State Legislatures were drafted by or with assistance from attorneys. The Legislators themselves may not be attorneys, but to have the language codified into statute, it’s 100% a legal document written or overseen and then potentially amended by a lawyer.

That's an overstatement.  Maybe some are, but not all.  Just because it's a legal document doesn't mean a lawyer drafted it or even assisted with the drafting of a statute.  State legislatures have committees of people who do the work.  In some cases, they may farm it out to a law firm perhaps.

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A lot of discussion in this thread revolves around Tiger’s liability, but that is a matter for the court to decide.

Even if he is found not to be liable, that doesn’t mean that the lawsuit shouldn’t have occurred or was frivolous.

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46 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

We don’t know that right? As @iacas asked, maybe he was serving himself. 

Its entirely possible, and as I said before, that goes to the policies of the establishment, and to the enforcement.  To specifically allow non-working employees to serve themselves is a poor choice, in my opinion.  To allow an employee to break policy and serve himself is a different poor choice.  Either one could be a factor in the outcome of a court case, if it gets that far.

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4 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

Its entirely possible, and as I said before, that goes to the policies of the establishment, and to the enforcement.  To specifically allow non-working employees to serve themselves is a poor choice, in my opinion.  To allow an employee to break policy and serve himself is a different poor choice.  Either one could be a factor in the outcome of a court case, if it gets that far.

If he did serve himself, it could be knowingly or unbeknownst to the staff, too.

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Just now, iacas said:

If he did serve himself, it could be knowingly or unbeknownst to the staff, too.

So many things we don't know.  Its only a guess, of course, but the hours between 3 PM and 6 PM typically cover happy hour, a fairly busy time for many bars.  Apparently the Woods has Happy Hour food specials from 4 to 6.  I'd be surprised if the guy could repeatedly go behind the bar to serve himself without being noticed by the staff currently serving customers.  Of course its possible, it just seems unlikely.

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4 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

So many things we don't know.  Its only a guess, of course, but the hours between 3 PM and 6 PM typically cover happy hour, a fairly busy time for many bars.  Apparently the Woods has Happy Hour food specials from 4 to 6.  I'd be surprised if the guy could repeatedly go behind the bar to serve himself without being noticed by the staff currently serving customers.  Of course its possible, it just seems unlikely.

I thought I read that the heavy drinking took place after closing. So people were sitting around chit chatting and he was drinking. If he was off the clock and pounding booze on his own would that change this?

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7 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

I thought I read that the heavy drinking took place after closing. So people were sitting around chit chatting and he was drinking. If he was off the clock and pounding booze on his own would that change this?

3-6pm.

His shift ended at 3.

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