FlyingTexan
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Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:32 pm

Guy gets tanked on red wine during flight from Milwaukee, gets is his car at Hartsfield, hits dude and messes him up. Is Delta Liable?

A Fulton County Superior Court judge threw the case out, saying that since the alcohol was not served to Serio in Georgia, the law doesn't apply. But the state appeals court reversed that decision, allowing the case to move forward.

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/...005-04-15-delta-court_x.htm?csp=34
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Ralgha
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:36 pm

Wasn't served in the state, end of story.
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DeltaGuy
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:41 pm

Just another idiot trying to get a bit of chump change for nothing. Hope it stays thrown out.

DeltaGuy
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gothamspotter
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:43 pm

If the drinks were served on the ground in Georgia (or any other state with similar laws), they would certainly be liable. The only question is since the drinks were served in the air over several states, in which court should the case be tried? Unless DL settles (I'd say unlikely given the repercussions it would have for the entire industry), this case will probably be bounced around in the courts for many years.
 
kaniksu
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:47 pm

What happened to personal responsibility?

This guy had to much alcohol because he drank too much, not because Delta served him too much. He got in a wreck because he chose to drive his car while intoxicated.

The guy that was hit only filed a lawsuit against Delta because they had deeper pockets then the drunk driver. It's sad...
 
b741
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:51 pm

If he was from Milwaukee, then he should be able to hold his liquor. But then he was drinking wine, not Pabst so I don't know.
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n844aa
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:53 pm

It sounds like this case has so far been adjudicated solely on jurisdictional grounds. The trial court thought Ga. state court had no jurisdiction, the appellate court disagreed. Based on the linked article, no ruling has yet been made on the merits of the case.

From an efficiency standpoint, I'm not violently opposed to DL being held liable for alcohol sales. They're making money off those little $5 bottles and thus have the capability to insure for such eventualities. So I won't weep too much for them if they have to pay. I can't imagine ever filing such a lawsuit myself, however. The jackass ought to suck it up and pay the price for his poor judgment and irresponsibility. And I'd be disappointed and saddened if his idiocy led to greater restrictions being place on in-flight alcohol sales because -- what can I say? -- I enjoy being able to drink on planes. Big grin
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stlgph
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:39 pm

Quoting FlyingTexan (Thread starter):
Guy gets tanked on red wine during flight from Milwaukee, gets is his car at Hartsfield, hits dude and messes him up. Is Delta Liable?

yes.

it's like if you went down to TGI Friday's or what have you did the same thing. Friday's, the manager on duty, the bartender, and the server bringing you the drinks (if not the bartender) can all be held liable and responsible.

in this case, Delta and the flight attendants are all liable.
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Indy
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:57 pm

Does it matter where the drinks where served? An adult served it to another adult. No one put a gun to the guy's head to make him drink. He is 100% responsible for his OWN actions. The idea of trying to pin any percentage of this on anyone else is a shameless scam and nothing more than a tool to hold another person's income hostage. That guy drank by his own free will. In a society filled with common sense that would end the debate  Smile
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57AZ
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Mon Apr 18, 2005 4:25 pm

What also may figure in is that Delta is a corporation incorporated in the State of Georgia (as far as jurisdiction is concerned). Legally, the corporation can be held responsible for the actions of its employees or in this case, the lack thereof. Their flight attendant should have cut the guy off once it became evident that he was under the effects of alcohol. Also it does matter where the alcohol is served. Even though the aircraft is operated in interstate service in federal airspace, the right to regulate the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages is reserved for the states (excluding Indian Reservations). Most states have statutes that require that the server stop serving alcoholic beverages to a customer once he or she determines that the customer has become intoxicated. If they fail to cut the patron off the server, their supervisor and employer may be held liable in both civil and criminal court.

With the unfortunate frequency of DUI related car crashes in our society today, it is indeed appropriate that the individuals involved both directly and indirectly be sanctioned for their failures to act in responsible manners. I would challange any of you who feel that victims of drunk drivers sue the corporations for greed to say that to a grieving family member who has just lost a loved one to a drunk driver. The only way to get the message through to large, faceless corporations such as Delta is to hit them where it hurts-the pocketbook. If it causes some company employes to incur personal financial loss as a result, thats tough. For most restaurant employees, proven culpability in a situation such as this results in immediate termination for violation of company policy and state law. When I lived in Tennessee, servers who failed to cut off intoxicated patrons who were later involved in accidents were not only terminated, but often found themselves in jail facing criminal charges. If this should be the case with the Delta employee, they should be treated the same. It should also be noted that these laws also apply to private citizens. If you host a party where alcohol is served and an intoxicated guest is later involved in a DUI related car crash, you can be held liable as well as the intoxicated guest.

[Edited 2005-04-18 09:27:40]
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JGPH1A
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Mon Apr 18, 2005 4:30 pm

DL must accept at least some level of responsibility, after all they served him the 8 glasses of wine that he had - you're not allowed to BYO on Delta. Regardless of the ins and outs of legal wrangling about where the alchohol was served geographically, if bars are required to stop serving alchohol to people who are intoxicated, airlines should be too.
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stlgph
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Mon Apr 18, 2005 9:44 pm

From what I've always understood is that airplanes enter "Legal Land" once they land at a destination. If you are born Tulsa - Cincinnati, when you land in Cincinnati, that becomes your city of birth. So landing in Georgia, that becomes their legal domain. The fact their headquarters is in the same state makes little or no difference.

Perhaps AA777jr. can provide some fine tuning?
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bond007
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Mon Apr 18, 2005 9:53 pm

Ok, so the airline was irresponsible for serving the guy so much alcohol....it was irresponsible and that's as far as it should go.

C'mon what is happening to this country???

It was the guy's decision to drink the alcohol, and the guy's decision to drive....and somebody else is liable...give me a break!

Let's be responsible for our own actions....this is ludicrous how some other person/company can be found legally responsible for this behaviour.

You know what, if this guy is uninjured, he'll be driving a car again in no time....but we choose to sue Delta...where is the justice here ???

...sorry N57AZ I disagree. Families of drunk driving victims trying to get money from wherever possible in an insult to our justice system. Punish the GUY THAT DID IT.


Jimbo
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bond007
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Mon Apr 18, 2005 10:37 pm

Let me ask this question:

Suppose I had 2 drinks on the way to the airport, one more at the airport bar, and one or 2 more on the plane. At each bar (and on plane), I probably would have appeared fine. Then I got into car and hit a child...and I was found over the legal limit. Who is responsible then?? This is where it gets ridiculous! If Delta is responsible for the case in mention, then why aren't all the bars and the airline responsible in my example...oh, not forgetting the Rental Car Company....Oh, and GM?

I know the right answer.....I am the one responsible...nobody else.

[Edited 2005-04-18 15:39:26]
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FlyingTexan
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:13 pm

Quoting Kaniksu (Reply 4):
What happened to personal responsibility?

Unfortunately, that was thrown out the window a long time ago.

Georgia Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling on the issue by the end of the year.
===

In a court filing supporting Delta, the industry's trade group, the Air Transport Association of America, said applying the law to airlines "imposes a much more complex and unanticipated burden of compliance of interstate air carriers than on businesses that sell or serve alcohol on the ground."

The speed of jet airplanes and the interstate nature of airline travel also will make it virtually impossible to determine exactly where an airline serves a drink to a passenger, North said. If Serio really did drink six or eight glasses of wine, the drinks might have been served over six or eight different states.


http://www.pulsejournal.com/hp/conte...tion/stories/04/19_DELTA_SUIT.html
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stlgph
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Wed Apr 20, 2005 1:04 pm

57AZ, you hit the nail on the head and you are entirely correct in your posting, except that Delta being located in Georgia has nothing to do with it, the same law applies even if it was an aircraft arriving from another country.

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 13):
If Delta is responsible for the case in mention, then why aren't all the bars and the airline responsible in my example...

Because it is the last place that served you. As written in law, they could have and should have stopped you from being served and should have intervened with you, as in contacting airport police at your arrival airport, to not have you arrested, but to make sure you have an escort and take a "time out" and are given alternative means of transportation once you have reached your destination.

Quoting FlyingTexan (Reply 14):
If Serio really did drink six or eight glasses of wine, the drinks might have been served over six or eight different states.

It doesn't matter if you're above the North Pole, you landed in Georgia and Delta employees did not take the liberty to intervene with the passenger, as I gave in an example above. The consequential accident also occurred in this state.
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bond007
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Wed Apr 20, 2005 1:19 pm

Quoting STLGph (Reply 15):
As written in law, they could have and should have stopped you from being served and should have intervened with you, as in contacting airport police at your arrival airport, to not have you arrested, but to make sure you have an escort and take a "time out" and are given alternative means of transportation once you have reached your destination.

Why ???

Like I said in my post....I probably would have appeared fine to the F/A but quite possibly legally drunk as far as DUI goes. Most people have got to be quite a way over 'legally' drunk before they appear to be bad enough that somebody isn't going to serve them another drink. That is my point. Should the FA give tell me blow into a machine before he/she gives me a drink??

Not serving drunks is one thing - but what about those that are just over the line....the F/A thought they were OK (understandably), but they were over the limit and killed somebody.....and the F/A was still responsible...give me a break.....

Isn't it a great country when somebody else is always responsible for your own actions, and be sued great amounts of money for being so!


Jimbo
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stlgph
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Wed Apr 20, 2005 1:38 pm

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 16):
I probably would have appeared fine to the F/A but quite possibly legally drunk as far as DUI goes.

this would, of course, be the F/A's defense in court, and given circumstances and testimony of others, could and would hold up. then again, this is where the red light/yellow light/green light symptons of alcholics would have to be monitored and assessed.
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SonOfACaptain
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Wed Apr 20, 2005 1:51 pm

Let me ask you this.......are bars sued for drunk driving accidents.

Enough said.

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RDUDDJI
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Wed Apr 20, 2005 1:55 pm

So if I go to a gas station and buy matches and fill up my gascan and then set someone's house on fire I the home-owner sure the gas station?

Come on, this is a joke...this guy (the plaintiff) should be sued for being such a tool. It doesn't even say how drunk the pax was (or if he even was). Pax could have continued drinking after he got off the airplane. Any decent lawyer (and I'm sure DL has good ones on retainer) will have this thrown out quickly.

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 13):
Suppose I had 2 drinks on the way to the airport, one more at the airport bar, and one or 2 more on the plane. At each bar (and on plane), I probably would have appeared fine. Then I got into car and hit a child...and I was found over the legal limit. Who is responsible then?? This is where it gets ridiculous! If Delta is responsible for the case in mention, then why aren't all the bars and the airline responsible in my example...oh, not forgetting the Rental Car Company....Oh, and GM?

It depends whether or not you are in a State that recognizes contributory negligence. NC does, so it would likely find all partly at fault and assign percentages to each...  Smile
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stlgph
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Wed Apr 20, 2005 2:15 pm

Quoting SonOfACaptain (Reply 18):
Let me ask you this.......are bars sued for drunk driving accidents.

yep

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 19):
It doesn't even say how drunk the pax was (or if he even was). Pax could have continued drinking after he got off the airplane. Any decent lawyer (and I'm sure DL has good ones on retainer) will have this thrown out quickly.

no, the article doesn't say if he was ticketed for drunk driving, which is a big fact of the story the report left out, if you ask me.

DL would have to use that decent lawyer to prove he went and continued drinking somewhere else after he got off the plane, even then DL still contributed to his consumption.
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RDUDDJI
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Wed Apr 20, 2005 2:47 pm

Quoting STLGph (Reply 20):
DL would have to use that decent lawyer to prove he went and continued drinking somewhere else after he got off the plane, even then DL still contributed to his consumption.

No, DL stopped serving him before he was drunk (At least that's what DL will contend if they have any sense). Again, we don't even know if he was drunk at all by that article.

DL would also not have to "prove" he continued drinking. It would be helpful, but in the end, it's up to a jury to decide which side has the greater "burden of proof" on its side in a civil trial. It would at the very least be an interesting trial. If it's held in ATL, jury selection would be tricky, nearly everyone there has heard of DL and likely already has a good or bad opinion of them...
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ATLgaUSA
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Wed Apr 20, 2005 3:06 pm

Quoting RDUDDJI (Reply 21):
If it's held in ATL, jury selection would be tricky, nearly everyone there has heard of DL and likely already has a good or bad opinion of them...

The jury would be drawn out of Fulton Co. The jury selection pool there has likely heard of DL, but would likely only know them from advertisements, therefore no real opinion.
 
concentriq
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Wed Apr 20, 2005 3:19 pm

drunk dewd from MKE. what a surprise.  Smile
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57AZ
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Wed Apr 20, 2005 5:09 pm

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 12):
Ok, so the airline was irresponsible for serving the guy so much alcohol....it was irresponsible and that's as far as it should go.

Sorry. Once we absolve a party of responsibility in one set of circumstances, what is to prevent them from attempting to apply that precedent to an entirely separate situation later? If you act irresponsibly and your act contributes to the harm of a third party, then you should accept responsibility for your actions and make reparations.

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 12):
Let's be responsible for our own actions....this is ludicrous how some other person/company can be found legally responsible for this behaviour.

Actually, they are not responsible for the individual's behavior. However they are responsible for the actions or behavior of their employee. If the employee violated the law whether knowingly or unknowlingly makes no difference. They were acting in their official capacity on the behalf of their employer. Therefore their employer is ultimately responsible for their action.

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 12):
You know what, if this guy is uninjured, he'll be driving a car again in no time....but we choose to sue Delta...where is the justice here ???

If it happened in Arizona he sure wouldn't be driving scot free. Arizona makes heavy use of alcohol interlocks on ignitions for first time offenders. Repeat offenders go to prison as Aggregated DUI is a felony. As for the justice, Delta was responsible for contributing to the individual's impairment by continuing to serve him, whether or not they gave him his first drink or his last.

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 12):
Families of drunk driving victims trying to get money from wherever possible in an insult to our justice system. Punish the GUY THAT DID IT.

Are you aware of the costs that can result from a crash involving an intoxicated driver? Obviously not judging from your statement. The fact is that most DUI related crashes involving an intoxicated driver and another motorist result in serious injuries or death. If the person survives, they may lose their job from either the time off work to recover or permanent disability. At any rate, they face expensive medical costs and the lost income while still having to pay their daily living expenses. Is it fair for the victim and his/her family to have to pay those costs out of their pockets? Also consider this: in many cases, the driver at fault may not have the resources to allow the victim to recoupe their losses solely from the primary offender. In this case, Delta through the negligence of its employee contributed to the situation that resulted in the crash. Therefore they have a legal responsibility to make reparations for their contribution to the incident.
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bond007
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Wed Apr 20, 2005 10:21 pm

Quoting 57AZ (Reply 24):
Sorry. Once we absolve a party of responsibility in one set of circumstances, what is to prevent them from attempting to apply that precedent to an entirely separate situation later?

Sorry, in this case you are taking it to a ridiculous extreme. The opposite of your statement is also true and this is what is happening in the US. If this is the case then every individual and company that had ANYTHING to do with this guy can be held legally responsible??

Like I asked earlier, and have not seen a good reply, is suppose the guy appeared fine to the F/A....why should he/she not serve him a drink? BUT although he looked fine he was legally drunk. If it's OK in this case, but not if he 'looks' drunk, then there are big inconsistencies here. In either case the guy could kill somebody in his car right?

Oh....and suppose the guy was drunk but got a cab home, got mad at his wife and beat her.....DL still responsible??

Where does this stop?

I never said the families and/or victims shouldn't be fairly compensated - of course they should. My issue is with where the money is coming from....we need money so let's try and sue EVERYONE possible to get as much as posible. The lawyers get rich, people/companies that had little to do with the case end up out of pocket....and nobody seems to really care about the guy who actually did it.

It's interesting that in all your replies, you hardly mentioned that the guy actually might be doing something irresponsible himself ???

If you want the victims and families to get more money ...take it from the lawyers involved in this crazy mentality.

My last word,

Jimbo

[Edited 2005-04-20 15:23:19]
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senorcarnival
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:52 pm

Quoting SonOfACaptain (Reply 18):
Let me ask you this.......are bars sued for drunk driving accidents.

Yes, in more than one occasion here in Austin, a bar has been shut down b/c of a victim of a drunk driver that sues the bar, who has to pony up so much money it drives them out of business.

Quoting Kaniksu (Reply 4):
The guy that was hit only filed a lawsuit against Delta because they had deeper pockets then the drunk driver. It's sad...

Considering Delta's financial situation, this plaintiff might've been better off suing the driver anyway. Love me some Delta, but this was just too good of a crack to pass up. Big grin
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TWA902fly
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RE: Is Delta Liable For Serving Too Many Drinks?

Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:16 am

Quoting Kaniksu (Reply 4):
The guy that was hit only filed a lawsuit against Delta because they had deeper pockets then the drunk driver. It's sad...

Are you sure Delta has deeper pockets than the drunk driver?


okay okay sorry


My opinion is Delta is not liable. They weren't being a very good citizen, if they really did serve him 6 drink over the 2 hour flight from MKE, but it's not their fault, the best i think they should do is put in a FA policy to watch passangers closer, or limit the number of drinks they serve in general, not just to people who appear intoxicated. Then again that's lost revenue, not serving alcohol to drunks..

TWA902
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