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Dram Shop/Liquor Liability

Sweeney & Sheehan has a proven expertise in defending clients that serve alcohol as part of their business enterprises or as social hosts. These clients range from clubs, restaurants, taverns, casinos, liquor stores to individuals throughout of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The Firm is well-equipped to perform the intensive investigations frequently required to defend these types of cases, including scene inspections, locating and interviewing witnesses, and gathering evidence. Additionally, our attorneys have experience handling such claims and  possess specialized knowledge of the body of law relating to liquor liability, enabling us to develop early defense strategies and tactics that lead to a defense verdict or a satisfactory settlement.

Under Pennsylvania law, it is a violation of the dram shop act for any establishment to serve alcohol to any visibly intoxicated person or a minor. 47 P.S. § 4-493(1).  In order to prevail on a Dram Shop Claim, a Plaintiff must prove that the patron has been served alcoholic beverages while visibly intoxicated and that the alleged injuries were proximately caused by the patron’s intoxication.

In New Jersey, in order to prevail on a Dram Shop claim, a Plaintiff must prove the following three elements:

  1. A licensed alcoholic beverage server “served a visibly intoxicated person, or served a minor, under circumstances where the server knew, or reasonable should have known, that the person served was a minor.
  2. “The injury or damage was proximately caused by the negligent service of alcoholic beverages; and”
  3. ”that the injury or damage was foreseeable consequence of the negligent service of alcoholic beverages.”

N.J.S.A. 2A:22A-5. Statutory Dram Shop claims are the exclusive civil remedy for actions involving negligent service of alcohol.

Should you need an attorney, we are ready to assist you and provide you with the outstanding service you expect and deserve.