Hartline Dacus Attorneys Win Defense Verdict for Adult Entertainment Company

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This jury trial ended in victory for the Defendant after attorneys of the firm successfully defended a publicly traded adult entertainment establishment in a case involving an automobile-pedestrian accident that resulted in the death of a 43 year-old man.

Hartline Dacus Barger Dreyer LLP today announced a jury trial victory after attorneys Darrell Barger, Brian Rawson and Stephanie Roark successfully defended their client in a two week Dram Shop liability trial in Harris County, Texas.

The client is a publicly traded adult entertainment establishment with nightclubs in major markets across the U.S. According to court documents, the case involved an automobile-pedestrian accident that resulted in the death of a 43 year-old man in 2007. The driver of the vehicle was an adult entertainer, who was driving home from work at the defendant’s nightclub when the accident occurred. She had a blood-alcohol level almost four times the legal limit, and eventually pled guilty to felony intoxication manslaughter. Relatives of the victim filed suit against the nightclub, alleging the defendant was negligent in continuing to serve alcohol to an obviously intoxicated person, and then allowing her to drive home from the defendant’s establishment.

“While we certainly feel a great deal of sympathy for the family of the victim in this tragic accident, we were confident that our client had not been negligent in this situation. We knew we needed to mount a strong defense to prove that the company played no part in the criminal actions of this independent contractor,” said Darrell Barger, a partner in the Corpus Christi office of Hartline Dacus Barger Dreyer LLP.

The jury heard testimony from a variety of expert witnesses and was presented with a reconstruction of the accident. The plaintiff’s counsel claimed the victim experienced unimaginable conscious pain and suffering when he was struck by the entertainer’s vehicle and asked the jury to award $5 million plus punitive damages to the family of the victim.

Defense counsel argued that their client had safeguards in place to prevent serving alcohol to someone obviously intoxicated, as well as to prevent their patrons from driving under the influence of alcohol. The defense also brought in expert witness to establish that alcohol played no role in the accident. After hearing testimony from both sides, the Harris County jury of seven men and five women deliberated and returned a verdict for the defense on June 15, 2011.

Hartline Dacus Barger Dreyer LLP is a Texas-based litigation firm with offices in Dallas, Corpus Christi, and Houston. The firm’s 33 attorneys pride themselves on providing uncompromising excellence to their clients in a variety of litigation areas, including product liability, commercial litigation, class action and multidistrict litigation, intellectual property, personal injury defense, premises liability, labor and employment, insurance coverage, healthcare, construction and dealer/franchise litigation. For more information about Hartline Dacus Barger Dreyer LLP, visit http://www.hdbdlaw.com.

SOURCE: Hartline Dacus Barger Dreyer LLP

Cause Number: 2009-07180
Court: 334th Judicial District Court, Harris County, Texas

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