Pedestrian Dies in Accident After Drinking at Local Round Rock Bar
Just how responsible a bar is for the well-being of its patrons after they leave the premises will come into question following a lawsuit filed by a mother who claims the staff served her son too much to drink before he was killed while walking home in 2016.
A 24-year-old man, Jorge Alexander Morales, left Rockey’s Piano Bar in Round Rock on December 3, 2016. While walking home, he was struck by a vehicle and died. Police determined the death was an accident, and the driver of the car was not charged.
Mother Says Bartenders Should Have Stopped Serving Her Son
Morales’ mother, Julie Benitez, said the bartenders should have recognized that her son was intoxicated and stopped serving him alcohol. If they had done so, she claims, he might still be alive.
Morales left the bar around 1 a.m. with Benitez and another man. They searched for their car in a parking lot, but couldn’t find it. They then approached police officers to ask for directions.
The police report of the incident says one of the officers remembers that Morales was very intoxicated, and they would have arrested him for public intoxication had he not been escorted by another male who was sober. Following an argument, Morales departed from his mom and the other man and walked home. Just before 3 a.m., police received a call from the driver of the car who said he struck Morales, who had been walking in the center of the right lane at the time of the accident.
Benitez claims that if the police were able to identify that Morales was too intoxicated, the bartenders should have as well and that it was their responsibility to stop serving him.
The Dram Shop Law
Under Texas’ Dram Shop Law, businesses can be held civilly liable for what happens to their patrons once they leave the establishment. It must be proven that the establishment served alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person, however.
Benitez is claiming negligence on behalf of Rockey’s Piano Bar under this Dram Shop law. In most cases, the law applies to people who were hurt by a drunk driver, but Benitez claims that it should apply to her son as well.
Get the Help You Need from Personal Injury Lawyers in Round Rock TX
No amount of money will bring Benitez’s son back. The emotional toll such a tragedy has taken – and will continue to take – on them is immeasurable. In addition to the emotional trauma, there are serious financial consequences as well. In addition to end-of-life expenses, Morales’ family may have to juggle the costs of mental therapy and well-being services, as well as the loss of wages.
At the Elissa I. Henry Law Firm, our personal injury lawyers in Round Rock TX are experienced in all areas of law relating to wrongful death. Call us today for a free consultation at (512) 766-4529.