Under Missouri law, a bar or restaurant could be held liable for the damage caused by a drunk driver after they leave the establishment. Essentially, if an intoxicated driver leaves a bar and injures someone, that person could sue the bar.
These cases, often referred to as “dram shop” cases, provide remedies to those injured when an establishment continues to serve a patron alcohol even though he or she is visibly drunk. Suffice it to say, a place that serves alcohol has a duty to the public not to send drunk patrons out on the road.
This duty does not ostensibly end at the end of a gangway; or does it?
A plaintiff who was injured after falling into the ocean certainly believes so. She is bringing suit against Carnival Cruise Lines in federal court claiming that it was negligent in encouraging her to have more drinks even though she was already drunk; even calling it “a floating dram shop.”
She allegedly became so inebriated that she fell from her cabin balcony onto a life raft, and then into the ocean below. As noted in her complaint, she “fell in the water without a life jacket or preserver.” She also claims that the ship left without her, despite pleas from her friend, fiancée and other observers who witnessed the fall.
After two hours in the ocean, the plaintiff was eventually rescued. However, she claims that the ship’s captain refused to airlift her to a hospital. Instead medical personnel only chose to give her pain medication instead of addressing her injuries.
Ultimately, the plaintiff seeks remedies based on Carnival’s negligent in allowing her to become dangerously drunk, and for allowing her to remain in the ocean for an unreasonable amount of time.
Source: Courthouse News.com, Carnival Cruise Line didn’t give a damn, woman overboard says, March 13, 2013