Last week a young man lost his life after he was served alcohol at a downtown Nashville nightclub. Bryson Maynard lost his life early Saturday morning. Accordingly to witnesses the downtown nightclub staff and management knew the boy and his friends were – and still served them. Bryson was killed in a car wreck that night.
Unfortunately, our legislature has made it difficult to hold bars and restaurants responsible for people injured consumption of alcohol. Specifically, the law declares that the consumption of any alcoholic beverage or beer rather than the furnishing of any alcoholic beverage or beer is the proximate cause of injuries inflicted upon another by an intoxicated person. This law was passed after lobbying by the liquor, restaurant and hotel industry. It places profit over people. Fortunately, the legislature did place a very limited exceptions to hold the seller responsible. Specifically, a seller can be liable if a jury of twelve (12) persons finds beyond a reasonable doubt that the sale by such person of the alcoholic beverage or beer was the proximate cause of the personal injury or death sustained and that such person:
(1) Sold the alcoholic beverage or beer to a person known to be under the age of twenty-one (21) years and such person caused the personal injury or death as the direct result of the consumption of the alcoholic beverage or beer so sold; or (2) Sold the alcoholic beverage or beer to an obviously intoxicated person and such person caused the personal injury or death as a direct result of the consumption of the alcoholic beverage or beer so sold.
This is a hard burden to carry. It is sad that these business are given such preferential treatment and the legislature has such disregard for our safety. It is apparent that the have not suffered the loss of a child to a drunk driver. Our firm will fight for a change in this immoral law.