The Outcome: We secured this $7.5 million settlement after lengthy investigation into which establishments had overserved the driver ahead of the crash. We obtained a jailhouse phone call between the drunk driver and his girlfriend that allowed us to identify a restaurant where he first became intoxicated. From there, he went on to purchase additional alcohol at a gas station—but uncovering its location took more work. We used a photo lineup of gas stations so that the driver could identify the one where he made the purchase.
When both entities contested responsibility for the driver's intoxication, we used depositions of restaurant employees and forensic examination of prior point of sale data that showed a pattern of unsafe alcohol service there. The case was mediated twice before it was settled, shortly before it was set to go to trial.