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Bars to pay $6.6 million for motorist’s paralysis

A 36-year-old man who attempted to drive home while visibly intoxicated after being served alcoholic beverages at two bars will be paid $6.6 million as a settlement of Dram Shop claims he brought against the bars and one of the bartenders. On the way home, he suffered injuries in an accident that have left him paralyzed from the neck down.

Motorists and passengers in Ohio car accidents, including those involving intoxication, have also suffered similar spinal cord injuries. The motorist's lawsuit claimed that he was continually served more alcohol, even after he became visibly intoxicated, which licensed liquor vendors and their employees are not supposed to do.

The plaintifff's attorney stated that it is possible that the motorist's lifetime medical expenses may total far more than the settlement and could reach as high as $34 million. Medicare has covered his medical expenses after his insurance lapsed, but some of the settlement may go towards repaying that. The plaintifff was also estimated to have lost as much as $2.8 million in lifetime earnings from his previous jobs as a repairman and doorman.

Accident victims who suffer spinal cord injuries often require lifelong care, are unable to work and may need a variety of medical, surgical and therapeutic treatments. In addition to being very traumatic and life-altering for the accident victim themselves, it imposes a heavy burden on their entire extended family.

Personal injury lawsuits, of course, can never really fully compensate for the injuries, the pain and suffering, and the unending daily frustration felt by those who suffer such a tragic injury. The funds from a judgment or settlement in such a case can at least help to see that they receive adequate care.

Source: Penn Record, "Drunk driver paralyzed in accident reportedly reaches $6.6 million settlement with bars in Dram Shop case" Jon Campisi, Dec. 12, 2013

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