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South Carolina woman sues bar for drunk driving accident

A South Carolina woman, who was paralyzed in a drunk driving accident back in 2009, is now suing the establishment that continually served her drinks, even though she was not of age at the time. She was 20-years-old at the time of the accident.

The bar, located in Bluffton, South Carolina, did not bother to check the woman's ID, which led to a night of drinking and playing pool with her friends. The woman also claims that the bar tender on duty did not check to see if she was already drunk before he furnished her the beverages.

Over the legal limit of alcohol consumption for motorists of the drinking age, the woman left the bar at 1:00 a.m. During her travels, she ran off the road. The impact of the accident ejected the woman from the car and catapulted her 20 feet from the vehicle where she suffered injuries that resulted in paralysis.

The complaint filed in court contends that the bar's staff failed to maintain their duties of serving drinks to only patrons of legal drinking age that are not already intoxicated. Because of these violations, the bar should shoulder some of the blame in the accident. Under South Carolina's "Dram shop" law, bar owners can be held financially liable if the patron was visibly drunk when he or she left the premises; subsequently causing bodily injury or property damage.

However, according to the complaint, the bar is not the only party to blame. The woman is also going after the state's department of transportation for what she considered dangerous road conditions. The complaint argued that the woman's accident was a result of hitting a poorly maintained portion of the shoulder on Alljoj Road, which caused her to lose control of the vehicle and run off the street.

Both defendants in the case deny responsibility, and instead point to the woman and her own negligence. The woman is seeking damages that could total millions of dollars to help defray the cost of her ongoing medical care.

Source: Mail Online, "Woman sues bar for not carding her and preventing drunken car crash that left her paralyzed," Dec. 30, 2011

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