Is a store liable to store patrons if they are injured by an intoxicated person?

19 December 2013 Categories: Nashville Attorney

Can a store be held liable for the injuries to a patron of that store caused by an obviously intoxicated patron?

The Supreme Court of Tennessee just gave a ruling that a store can be held liable if a patron is injured by another patron of the store that was visibly intoxicated. A visibly intoxicated patron of Wal-Mart attempted to have a prescription filled. The pharmacy department noticed that she was intoxicated and refused to fill her prescription. After the store refused to fill her prescription, she became irate and left the store. She then got into her car and had an auto accident with another patron of Wal-Mart. The car accident resulted in injuries to the party that was struck by the intoxicated driver.

After the trial court initially granted a Motion to Dismiss stating that that Wal-Mart did not have a legal duty to control the intoxicated patron after she left the store. This ruling was overturned by the Court of Appeals. This ruling was then appealed to the Supreme Court of Tennessee. Since the Supreme Court of Tennessee ruled in the Plaintiff’s favor regarding the defense of the Motion to Dismiss, the case will be returned to the trial court so that it can be heard on its merits.

If you would like to read the Tennessee Supreme Court’s ruling, here is the link.

You can also read a news story regarding the ruling here.

We will be following this case and will provide updates on the progress of the case. Since Wal-Mart is connected to the case, it is anticipated that any ruling in favor of the Defendant will be appealed since they fight any lawsuit, small or large, they are involved in.

McNulty & Associates, PLLC
211 Printers Alley, Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37201
(615) 829-8250

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