• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments


"No good deed goes unpunished" department: Piere's offers rides home to patrons who think they've had too much to drink to be able to drive safely. They gave such a ride to James Herald, but they didn't take him all the way home:

Herald was struck and injured after being dropped off.

Local Fort Wayne attorney Don Swanson, who is not involved in the case was asked if Piere's could be liable says, "The facts of the particular case indicate he was dropped off blocks from his home, that's probably unreasonable, given the fact that he elected to use their service, because he was intoxicated according to the laws."

My philosophical inclination leads me to side with Piere's. Swanson chose to drink to excess and chose to seek the ride home. He is a moral agent who must accept the consequences of his actions. But I suspect that, by offering the rides in the first place, Piere's management set themselves up for more liability than they want to now acknowledge. They demonstrated an awareness that people who drink to excess are impaired. They singled out people who were impaired for special treatment. Why wouldn't that treatment include taking the guy to his door, even if he insisted in a drunken stupor that he wanted to walk a few blocks?

On the other hand, if I were a shrewd lawyer for Piere's, I might argue: Drunk people don't exercise very good judgment in anything. If Piere's had taken the guy to his door, he could just have easily have fallen down the basement stairs instead of being hit by a car. Should Piere's be responsible for that, too? What about if he falls asleep on the john and gives himself a concussion when his head hits the floor? What about if he suffocates on his own vomit three hours after he falls asleep?

Isn't the law fun?


Bob G.
Fri, 04/03/2009 - 8:38am

The law is REAL.
The law is "fun".
But the law is NEVER...REAL FUN.