Ask anyone who has lived in Forney for a while and they will tell you how much Forney has changed. It doesn’t matter if you have lived here one year, five years, or your whole life. Forney is not a little town anymore. Some places, like old downtown, still retain that small-town feel, but the modernization of Forney is well under way. Take a drive down 741, 548, Broad Street, 1641, or if you dare, highway 80, and you will see new houses, new businesses, and new faces.
Let’s face it, Forney is growing. Growth is great. It is good for local businesses and residents alike. It seems like once a week we hear about another press release from the City Council approving a new business or development coming into Forney. Just yesterday, the Forney City Council approved a waiver for Eno’s Pizza Tavern, a local restaurant chain with its original hangout spot in Dallas’ Bishop Arts District. Pretty excited about that.
However, as a personal injury attorney, I have a different outlook on growth and how it impacts local residents. The first thing I think about when I hear about new business or development projects, is the impact it will have on traffic, and more specifically, the increased risk of accidents. Let’s just face it, Forney’s roads were not made for the amount of use they currently receive. If you do not believe me, try driving down FM 548 at 6:30 p.m, or 3:30 p.m, or between 7:30 and 9:00 am. Lets just say, your gas mileage will suffer if you go that way during those times of day. They just will.
According to the Dallas Morning News, a Richardson bar is being sued after a customer allegedly went on an 8-hour drinking binge and then drove home drunk. As reported, savage arrived around at W.W. Fairfields at around 6:00 pm on December 19th, and the bar continued to serve him until after 2:00 a.m. After leaving the bar, Savage crashed into a concrete dividing wall on Central expressway a little after 3:00 am, which resulted in serious injury. Savage eventually hired attorney Tom Carse to represent him in the matter, and they have filed suit seeking $1 million in damages from the bar.
When stories like this are reported, they have a tendency to cause some outrage from the public. This is especially true in situations like this where the drunken patron sues the bar for their own damages as a result of an accident. I have to admit, it seemed counterintuitive to me when I first studied Texas Dram Shop law. Texas Dram Shop law provides an avenue under Texas Alcohol and Beverage Code for victims of drunk driving accident, as well as patrons who “caused” the accident, to sue a restaurant, bar, or any other establishment licensed by the State of Texas if they serve a customer to the point of obvious intoxication where they knew or should have known that they presented a danger to themselves and others.
Most react this way: why do we even have that law? Are people not responsible for their actions?
via cbsdfw.com- Police say a 53-year-old driver has been charged with intoxication manslaughter after striking a 22-year-old pedestrian on the side of the LBJ Freeway. The pedestrian died at the scene.
Officers responded to the crash on southbound LBJ just north of La Prada Drive around 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Police say Rhonda Anderson, driving a Jeep, hit Clifton Curtis as he was standing next to the broken-down Pontiac he had been driving. The car was on the right-hand shoulder of the highway.
Police say Anderson drove the Jeep off the highway and around the Pontiac, side-swiping the passenger side of the vehicle and hitting the Dallas man.
The Dram Shop Act
In 1987, just a few days after the Texas Supreme Court ruled in El Chico v. Poole, the Texas Legislature enacted the Dram Shop Act. It was established to hold bars liable for over-serving patrons who then went out into public and got into a car accident and injured someone else.
In a standard Dram Shop Case, there is a victim who is injured by another person. The victim in those cases are truly innocent. But the truth is that many people walk into our office here at Guest and Gray and they’ve received a DWI as a result of getting into an accident after leaving a bar where they were served alcohol to excess. These people may have a Dram Shop Case too, even though it was them who became intoxicated and only they were injured.