The Indiana Dram-Shop Act holds alcoholic-beverage furnishers—including individuals—liable for the reasonably foreseeable consequences of knowingly serving visibly intoxicated persons. The act also immunizes them from civil liability in all other situations. The question presented is whether the appeals court erred in holding that plaintiffs may pursue dram shops for common-law violations, not just statutory claims, despite the expressed statutory immunity provided in the statute.
May 1, 2023
The Restaurant Law Center and the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association asked the Indiana Supreme Court to accept the case. Amici argue that the Indiana Dram Shop Act limits liability for providers of alcoholic beverages for when the provider has actual knowledge of the consumer’s visible intoxication. Allowing the Court of Appeals’ decision to stand would upset the long-held understanding of the restaurant and hospitality industry in Indiana, creating unnecessary legal uncertainty for establishments that serve alcohol. Likewise, the risks that can accompany alcohol are certainly serious and amici and their members encourage patrons to drink alcohol responsibly and seek to abide by all applicable laws and regulations related to alcohol and its consumption.
July 13, 2023
The Indiana Supreme Court took jurisdiction over the case in accordance with the request by the appellant, the Restaurant Law Center (RLC), and the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association (IRLA).