We obtained a verdict in excess of $27,000,000 in Fulton County in a wrongful death case. This is one of the largest verdicts in Fulton County history for wrongful death, and will likely be a top-10 verdict in Georgia for 2018.
The verdict concluded over 20 months of litigation between the Parties. The Complaint
alleged that the Defendant bar served alcohol to a minor who was noticeably intoxicated, knowing she would soon be driving a vehicle. The Complaint alleged that this was a violation of the Dram Shop Act.
Georgia’s Dram Shop Act states that a business that “willfully, knowingly, and unlawfully sells, furnishes, or serves alcoholic beverages to a person who is not of lawful drinking age, knowing that such person will soon be driving a motor vehicle” may be held liable for an auto accident “caused by or resulting from the intoxication of such minor or person when the sale, furnishing, or serving is the proximate cause of such injury or damage” Further, a business that “knowingly sells, furnishes, or serves alcohol.
Alcoholic beverages to a person who is in a state of noticeable intoxication, knowing that such person will soon be driving a motor vehicle,” may be held liable for an auto accident “caused by or resulting from the intoxication of such minor or person when the sale, furnishing, or serving is the proximate cause of such injury or damage.” O.C.G.A. § 51-1-40.
Alex Weatherby and Pitts Carr have developed a strong wrongful death practice. This year, alone, they have secured nearly $30,000,000.00 for wrongful death victims in Georgia. The cause of action for wrongful death in Georgia is somewhat unique.
The type of claims asserted in such a case are (1) a wrongful death claim and (2) a pain and suffering claim by the Estate. A pain and suffering claim brought on behalf of a deceased person is for the pain endured after the shooting but before the death. A claim for wrongful death is brought by the heirs of the decedent. Under Georgia law, this includes damages for the full value of the loss of the life of the deceased, without deduction for damages for the pain and suffering of the deceased after the injury and prior to death. O.C.G.A. § 51-4-1
Although the verdict is a matter of public record, we have redacted our clients’ names for their privacy.