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Courtroom Observation Essay

1513 words - 7 pages

Courtroom Observation


The case being tried is, number 82A04-8876-CV-285, Deborah White vs. Patrick Gibbs and O'Malley's Tavern. The case is being disputed in front of the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Indiana. Deborah White is the plaintiff and Patrick Gibbs and O'Malley's Tavern are the defendants. Deborah White's attorney's are Amanda Babbit and Jackson Walsh. Benjamin Walton and Jordan Van Meter are the defense attorney's.
“The State of Indiana requires that a plaintiff meet the following elements in order to recover damages: the defendant must have actual knowledge that the person to whom the alcoholic ...view middle of the document...

Other patrons who were in the tavern saw Mr. Hard fall. Mr. Hard was able to redeem his composure and got back on his stool; then Mr. Daniels provided him another beer. At this time, Mr. and Mrs. White were getting ready to leave O'Malley's Tavern. Mr. Hard proceeded to shout , "She should be my wife!", just as they approached the door to exit. The White's disregard his comment and walk out of the tavern. “Mr. Hard saw them leaving, pursued them, and raised his hand in an attempt to strike one of them but he fell to the ground as he swung… As the Whites left the tavern, Mr. Hard rose and began to chase the White's into the parking lot, shouting, ‘This isn’t over yet’” (Gumprecht, 3). Mr. Daniels now acknowledges that it is obvious Mr. Hard is intoxicated.
The White's begin to drive away from the tavern, in their vehicle, when Mrs. White observes Mr. Hard get into his vehicle and proceed to follow them. Mrs. White then dials 911 to request emergency assistance. “Approximately a half-mile from the tavern, Mr. White turned left while Mr. Hard, driving on the wrong side of the street and without slowing down, slammed into the Whites’ driver-side door” (Gumprecht, 3). Mr. Hard's action resulted in the death of Mr. Bruno White and caused Mrs. Deborah White to sustain significant injuries. “Beyond the emotional suffering incurred by Mrs. White as the result of the death of her husband Mrs. White has sustained significant injuries to the left side of her body” (Gumprecht, 4).
Mr. Hard's blood alcohol level was 0.20, well above the 0.08 legal limit; as determined during the police investigation. Also, as Mr. Daniel's claimed, Mr. Hard appeared as though to be intoxicated when he exited O'Malley's Tavern that July night. Which is easily explained as the computerized bar tab revealed “… that Mr. Hard ordered thirteen alcoholic drinks under the supervision of Mr. Daniels” (Gumprecht, 2). Mr. Hard has a past history of driving while intoxicated as stated by the owner of O'Malley's Tavern, the bartenders who work there, and the City of Gary Police Departments; who have witnessed it fist hand.
The defendants argument by Benjamin Walton and Jordan Van Meter, presented that the absolute knowledge of apparent intoxication and first-hand causation, were absent and not proven by the evidence, which is required under the Indiana Dram Shop Act.
Mr. Walton introduces that the evidence did not show that Mr. Hard was taking any action in business that would show intoxication. According to the Dram Shop Act, visible intoxication is required. Under this act, the bartender and owner are only held liable if the bartender or owner has actual knowledge of the patrons visible intoxication at the time the alcoholic beverage was furnished.
The defense alleged that knowledge of intoxication will not be adequate enough because actual knowledge is essential under the Act, which is supported by the Indiana Seventh Circuit Court and the Indiana...

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