You served me the alcohol, now pay for my crash

by Walter Olson on January 25, 2012

“A South Carolina woman is suing the bar that served her alcohol as a minor the night she had a car accident that left her paralyzed. Chelsea Hess, 22, is also suing the South Carolina Department of Transportation, the town of Bluffton and Beaufort County for negligence for allegedly not maintaining the road shoulder she drove her car over in her accident.” [ABC via @amyalkon]

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Drunk drivers who sue over their accidents, cont’d
01.31.12 at 6:01 am

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1 Melvin H. 01.25.12 at 10:22 am

Seems to me that the fact she was under 21 at the time of this, should put a kibosh on any attempt to collect from anyone, as she made a conscious decision to go to a bar, get in illegally, buy illegally, and drive drunk illegally. I know that some form of dram shop liability probably will apply to the bar, but why should she be able to collect whe she committed at least two illegal acts (underage drinking and DUI)?

2 L Nettles 01.25.12 at 11:43 am

Anyone curious about why the Plaintiff thinks she might succeed can read Marcum v. Bowden, 643 S.E.2d 85 (S.C., 2007)

3 Ron Miller 01.25.12 at 12:01 pm

Wait. Marcum lost this case. I think these were two companion cases where Marcum is just like this case and the plaintiff lost and Barnes was the third party injury case where liability was imposed? I am reading this wrong?

4 blhlls 01.25.12 at 1:59 pm

It looks like the court determined liability would be imposed on hosts serving alcohol to 18-20 year olds under some circumstances in the future. However, since they recognized this was a new rule, they did not impose liability on the defendants in that case.

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