New York Noncompete, Trade Secret & School Negligence Blog
This blog by the six-time published author Jonathan Cooper, is intended to educate the general public about issues of interest, particularly innovations and changes in the law, in the areas of non-compete agreements, breach of contract matters, school negligence (and/or negligent supervision), construction accidents, slip and/or trip and fall accidents, auto accidents, and, of course, defective or dangerous products.
For additional information on any of these topics, readers are encouraged to download these FREE e-books:
- To Compete or Not to Compete: The Definitive Insider's Guide to Non-Compete Agreements Under New York Law
- When Schools Fail to Protect Our Kids
- When You Don't Have a Written Agreement
- Why Most Accident Victims Do Not Recover the Full Value of Their Claim
- Why Are There So Few Successful Defective Products Lawsuits?
In this case, O'Gara v. Alacci, the driver of a car knocked down the plaintiff, who had wandered into the middle of a parkway after leaving a bar. The plaintiff sued to recover damages for her personal injuries, and contended that the driver of the car handled his car negligently, and therefore bore some resposibility for the accident. The defendant driver, in turn, sued the bar that served alcohol to the plaintiff, asserting that the bar was also somewhat responsible for the accident, because they served alcohol to the plaintiff even after she was obviously drunk.
New York's Dram Shop Act states that anyone who has been injured, whether personally, or even monetarily, due to the intoxication state of another is entitled to recover in contribution from the one who unlawfully caused or added to the intoxication, i.e., after the person was already clearly intoxicated.
In issuing this ruling, the Appellate court rejected the trial court's holding that the bar's duty to abstain from serving alcohol to an already-drunk person runs only to that person; instead, the Appellate court held that this duty also runs to the general public, including the driver of the car that was involved in this pedestrian knockdown.