Court Awards $15 Million to Victims in Catastrophic Drunk Driving Car Accident
An Olmsted County judge recently awarded $15 million to the victims of a three-car crash caused by a drunk driver and the three bars who served the driver the night of the fatal crash. The tragic event killed a 9-year-old boy, left a 7-year-old paralyzed, and disabled a 29-year-old female driver.
The accident took place back in September 2014 on a busy road in Rochester after a night of intense and prolonged drinking by the driver, Gerald Anthony Mohs. In January 2015, he was sentenced to 57 months in prison after pleading guilty to felony vehicular homicide, one count of felony criminal vehicular operation and two gross misdemeanor counts of criminal vehicular operation.
The victims (including the family of the deceased child) filed a wrongful death lawsuit and personal injury lawsuits against not only the driver but also against the four establishments that served Mohs in the hours leading up to the catastrophic crash. Under Minnesota’s dram shop laws, bars and restaurants may be held liable for the harm caused as a result of over-serving intoxicated patrons.
In finding the defendants liable for the car accident, the judge awarded the 29-year-old woman $70,000 for her medical expenses as well as just over $1.3 million for the past and future pain and suffering and loss of earnings due to disability. The judge awarded the family of the deceased 9-year old boy $1 million for their losses.
The judge estimated the paralyzed 7-year-old’s lifetime care needs at $3 million and his lost earnings at $3.5 million, and also awarded him $1 million for past pain and suffering and an additional $5 million for future pain and suffering. While nothing can undo catastrophic personal injuries like the ones suffered by the young plaintiff, the law nonetheless allows victims to hold wrongdoers accountable and seek compensation for their damages.
Woodbury Car Accident Lawyers
If you or your family member suffered a catastrophic injury in a car crash involving a drunk driver, it could be because a bar or restaurant overserved that individual. Contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Minnesota dram shop lawyers about your case. Novitzke, Gust, Sempf, Whitley & Bergmanis can investigate your case and hold wrongdoers accountable for their careless actions. Our attorneys are longtime residents of Western Wisconsin and Minnesota and we serve the areas surrounding St. Paul and Minneapolis. Our offices can be reached at 651-788-2401.