Connecticut law states that if an establishment continues to serve an inebriated customer alcoholic beverages and that person later causes an accident involving injury or death -- it may be held accountable financially. A recent lawsuit filed by the family of a man killed in a crash is invoking the Dram Shop Act in the death of an 87-year-old man. The wrongful death civil lawsuit seeks recovery of monetary damages related to the fatal wreck that occurred in 2017.
The lawsuit claims that Kathy Berman, wife of ESPN personality Chris Berman, stopped at a local bar in Woodbury where she was served multiple alcoholic beverages. Allegedly, she became inebriated but was still served by the wait staff. The suit claims that when she left the bar, she was significantly impaired but nevertheless got behind the wheel of her automobile. Just a short time after she left the establishment, Berman was involved in a deadly car crash.
The man was returning from visiting the local cemetery where his late wife is interred. Both Berman and the victim died from injuries suffered in the crash. The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection stated that Berman's autopsy revealed an elevated blood alcohol level.
Officials have not concluded their investigation into this fatal crash, and medical examiners ruled that Berman's cause of death was accidental. Neither she or her estate have been included in the wrongful death suit filed by the man's family. Families who lose loved ones due to the actions or negligence of another party are typically devastated by their loss and may be overwhelmed by the monetary losses incurred. A successful civil lawsuit may enable them to obtain just compensation for their financial damages.