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Applebee's settles DWI lawsuit involving 6-year-old victim

Bartenders and bar owners have a duty to ensure that patrons are not over-served. Applebee's, the famous "neighborhood" restaurant, is settling a lawsuit with a Texas family after an accident caused severe brain damage to a boy who was in an accident with a drunk driver. Allegedly, the driver had been drinking at Applebee's before the crash.

The victim, who is now 6-years-old, has suffered severe brain injuries that have left 80% of his damaged. His family has incurred massive medical expenses and are pursuing financial compensation for his 24 care needs, lost future earnings, pain and suffering, and other personal losses.

According to the complaint, the Mansfield, Texas Applebee's restaurant workers served the man 23 drinks in less than two hours, which lead to him getting behind the wheel and crashing into the victim's vehicle. The parents of the boy sought $10 million dollars from the Kansas City, Missouri based Applebee's restaurant; however the final settlement amount was not disclosed.

In any accident case, it is important that an independent investigation be performed to determine the cause of the accident and identify all responsible persons and entities involved. According to the family's attorney, the law firm's investigation was critical to obtaining a successful settlement agreement in this case. The investigation found the Applebee's receipts which showed that he paid for nearly two dozen drinks in a two-hour time frame. Police reports showed that the driver's blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit. Criminal charges are also pending.

Source: Reuters, "Applebee's settles family's DWI crash lawsuit," Andrew Chow, JD, May 30, 2012.

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