In 2001, 25 year old Maureen C. Moran went to two different restaurants where she drank heavy before becoming involved in a DUI accident that resulted in the death of a motorcyclist. In addition to having to deal with the legal ramifications of the poor choices the Moran made, she also found herself named as the defendant in a civil case that was filed by her victim’s widow.
When Denise Toral filed the civil lawsuit, she didn’t simply name the Moran as the defendant, she also listed Outback Steakhouse as a co-defendant along with a night club, Salsa’s. The paperwork was filed in 2003.
Toral’s husband, Robert, was riding his motorcycle on Dixie Highway when he was involved ina head-on collision with Moran. Toral succumbed to his injuries while the friends he was traveling with managed to live through the incident, though he was severely injured. The accident took place September 7, 2001.
Moran wasn’t convicted of DUI manslaughter until December 2003. As a result of her actions, she was sentenced to spend 14 years in prison. At the time of her sentencing, Moran stated that as a result of her drinking, she had no clear memory of the accident. During her trial, it was revealed that following the accident, Moran’s blood-alcohol level was 0.24, which exceeded the legal limit in the State of Florida which is 0.08.
The reason that both Outback and Salsa’s were named in Toral’s civil suit was because she felt they failed to pay attention to Moran’s behavior or the amount of alcohol she’d consumed while she was at both establishments. She felt they failed to adhere to their duty to “not to knowingly serve alcoholic beverages to persons habitually addicted to the use of any and all alcoholic beverages.”
Outback decided to settle with Toral during the negotiation phase. The terms of the settlement prohibited Toral from stating the value of the settlement.
Attorneys Joe and Martin, a managing partners in one of South Carolina’s leading personal injury firms, commends Toral and her legal team for properly pursing the matter. “This case is a perfect example of businesses not paying enough attention to their customers. Had someone at either Outback or Salsa’s been paying attention to Miss Moran the way they should have done, they would have been able to take steps to prevent her from getting behind the wheel of a car and this whole tragedy would have been avoided.”
“In a perfect world, each person would be responsible for the amount they drink and the bartenders and wait staff at establishments like Outback and Salsa’s wouldn’t have to worry about how much their patrons have consumed, but the world isn’t perfect. Right now dining establishments and clubs have to step up and do everything possible to keep their patrons safe.”
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a general problem throughout the world. Worst of all is that innocent people often be victims. It is necessary to increase control in traffic and through the media to draw attention on the risks when driving drunk. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident or someone you loved was killed in one, it’s in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney at https://joeandmartin.com/. They’ll help you understand who is and who isn’t responsible for the accident.
Published: August 6, 2016