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Case Law Update: Dram Shop Act in Negligence

Simmons v. Homatas, No. 108108 presented the question as to whether the trial court properly found that plaintiffs stated valid common-law negligence action against defendant (owner of gentleman’s club that had no liquor license and sold no liquor) where plaintiffs alleged that defendant required obviously intoxicated patron (who brought own liquor to club) to leave its premises and drive away in patron’s own car, and where patron was subsequently involved in accident that had killed plaintiffs’ decedents. Appellate Court found that plaintiffs could state viable negligence action under section 876 of Restatement (Second) of Torts, while defendant argued that plaintiffs’ only cause of action, if any, was under Dram Shop Act. This case will greatly affect automobile accident cases.