On Thursday, July 16, the Supreme Court in Washington unanimously reinstated a $14 million award to a DUI accident victim.
In April 2000, Hawkeye Kinkaid was drinking at the Bellingham Moose Lodge, where is girlfriend, Alexis Chapman, was serving him as a bartender. The forensic consultant found that Kinkaid probably drank the equivalent 21 12-ounce beers or 30 ounces 80-proof alcohol.
His blood alcohol level was believed to be .32 at the time of the collision.
While he was driving home, Kinkaid crossed the center line in Ferndale, Wash. and struck Bianca Faust’s car. Fraust, from New York City, was driving with her two children and grandchild. Everyone in Faust’s car was injured and Kinkaid was killed. The accident left Faust’s 7-year-old son, Christopher, a paraplegic.
Faust sued the lodge and Chapman and was awarded $14 million in Whatcom County Superior Court. The state Court of Appeals later overturned the case because Faust needed to present “specific point-in-time evidence” that Kinkaid appeared drunk when Chapman was serving him.
Washington DUI law holds bartenders liable for damages to potential victims if they serve visibly intoxicated customers. The court said that Chapman told others that Kinkaid was too “tipsy” to be driving. At one point in the night she refused to serve him.
Source: The Associate Press