Massachusetts has a dram shop liability statute which allows an individual harmed in an accident involving a drunk driver to seek damages from any establishment who over-served the patron. This statute raises many complex legal issues. As seasoned Boston car accident lawyers, our firm has addressed many legal claims involving drunk driving accidents.
In a recent case, a Massachusetts court considered whether an affidavit submitted pursuant to the dram shop statute needs to be a sworn statement that is based on personal knowledge. The case arose from an accident in which the decedent was killed in a one-vehicle accident. The decedent had been drinking at a bar owned by the defendants. The reports prepared following the accident indicated that the defendant was driving on a clear and straight road at roughly 9 pm and that he was driving approximately 79 miles-per-hour in a 30 mile-per-hour zone.
Witnesses interviewed regarding the crash stated that the decedent was at the restaurant from about 2 pm until 9 pm. Some of these witnesses indicated that the decedent consumed several alcoholic beverages and began acting loud and gregarious. Receipts at the restaurant showed that the decedent purchased 12 drinks. Other evidence suggested that the decedent was frequently served by an unnamed bartender who would engage in conversation with the decedent and who continued to serve him even when he was clearly intoxicated.