The Dallas Morning News reports that the father of Jerry Brown, who was killed earlier this year in a DWI accident, has filed a lawsuit against Beamers Nightclub on Walnut Hill Lane. This suit is the second filed by the parents of Jerry Brown. His mother, Stacy Jackson also filed a personal injury lawsuit last week.
According to the complaint, the nightclub allegedly served alcohol to Jerry Brown’s friend and teammate, Josh Brent. Later that same night Josh Brent operated his vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and killed his best friend, Jerry Brown, in an accident. The accident occurred on Dec. 7, 2012.
Jerry Brown Senior’s lawsuit was filed in court Wednesday against the club. Brown is seeking damages in a civil suit against the club, arguing that the club knowingly served alcohol to an intoxicated person. Apparently the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission or TABC agrees with this assessment. Now, it’s up to the courts to decide if the parents of Jerry Brent should receive compensation for their loss.
What happened to Jerry Brown?
On the night of December 7, Josh Brent partied with Brown. According to reports, the pair had just completed a night of partying in Dallas, Texas. The fatal accident occurred near the 1400 block of John Carpenter Freeway in Irving, Texas. According to police reports, Josh Brent had a blood alcohol concentration at the time of the accident of more than 0.18. The legal limit is 0.08.
Josh Brent, who retired this year, has been charged with intoxication manslaughter and manslaughter in connection with the fatal crash. His court case is scheduled to be heard in January 2014.
Dram Shop Laws
Texas Dram Shop laws are codified under Section 2.02 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code and allow some injured plaintiffs to file a personal injury lawsuit against a bar or restaurant if the plaintiff can prove that at the time the alcohol was provided, “the individual who later caused harm was obviously intoxicated to the point that he or she presented a clear danger.”
Additionally, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the accident was caused by the intoxication, meaning that the intoxication must have been sufficiently related to the injury suffered.
Proving that a patron was intoxicated can be difficult. In some states the court will require proof that the drunk person demonstrated “significantly uncoordinated physical action or significant physical dysfunction.” In other states, you must prove that the bar patron was so obviously intoxicated that he presented a “clear danger to himself and others.”
How can this be done? It may require testimony of employees, other customers or other eyewitnesses. To prove the case it may be necessary to contact patrons who were at the bar the night of the accident and see if they can provide eye witness testimony. Of course, this should be done as soon as possible to ensure that the information is accurate.
Statute of Limitations for a Civil Claim for Jerry Brown
All states have a statute of limitations for filing an injury case. For personal injury cases the time limit may be as little as one to two years. Talk to a lawyer if you have questions about your case.
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