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DRAM SHOP LIABILITY: Court finds that establishment’s alleged policy to not refuse service to intoxicated patrons is sufficient to support reckless service claim

The defendant, Wright, allegedly sped through a stop sign and collided with the plaintiff’s vehicle, causing several injuries to the plaintiff. The Plaintiff alleged that the defendant was intoxicated at the time of the motor vehicle collision, and that earlier in the evening, had been a patron at a McLadden’s Irish Publick House, of which one of the defendant’s was also the backer. The plaintiff alleged common law recklessness in the service of alcohol for over-service of the defendant Wright, who was visibly intoxicated, alleging that the backer “knew or should have known Wright would operate a motor vehicle upon leaving the premises.” The Court found that the “visible intoxication” allegation was not sufficient to establish a claim for reckless service of alcohol; however, the establishment’s policy that intoxicated people would not be refused service was sufficient to support a cause of action for reckless service, and as a result, the Court denied the defendant’s motion to strike the claim. Lemelin v. Wright, No. CV196053633S, 2021 WL 1530242 (Conn. Super. Ct. Mar. 8, 2021)