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Widow wins settlement holding bars liable for drunk driver

A person's wrongful death is often unexpected and sudden. Family members are left reeling as they mourn the loss of someone they love and rush to put together a funeral and to take care of the individual's final needs.

When you lose a loved one as a result of another party's negligence, such as drinking and driving, it's fair to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. That's what some bars in Syracuse have been facing, according to a July 24 article. Some have been held accountable to crashes involving patrons and travelers from New Jersey, while others face liability claims due to serving drinks to people who later caused property damage.

In one such case, a bartender was bar-hopping in May 2015 when she became intoxicated and later struck and killed a 58-year-old man from New Jersey. She had been traveling on the wrong side of Interstate 81 when the crash happened.

The family filed wrongful death lawsuits against several bars that had served the woman that night. Bars, by law, can be held liable if they serve someone who is obviously intoxicated. After going to court, the judge signed a $95,000 settlement for the family through claims from three local bars, Revolutions at Destiny USA, Corner Bar and Empire Brewing Co. At least one is accused of having video of the woman obviously intoxicated on the premises.

The woman who killed the man is serving up to 25 years in prison for the incident, and she's been ordered to pay the family $50,000. It's not clear if she had insurance to cover the expense of the ordered payment to the widow of the man.

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