Dram Shop and Minors

N.C.G.S. § 18B-120-129 the permittee or the local ABC board:

(1 year SoL, only minors, and max recovery is $500,000)

(BUT Parents can sue over a child’s death case)

(Also, there is an argument to be made that visible intoxication shouldn’t be necessary)

  • § 18B-120. DefinitionsAs used in this Article:(1) “Aggrieved party” means a person who sustains an injury as a consequence of the actions of the underage person, but does not include the underage person or a person who aided or abetted in the sale or furnishing to the underage person.(2) “Injury” includes, but is not limited to, personal injury, property loss, loss of means of support, or death. Damages for death shall be determined under the provisions of G.S. 28A-18-2(b). Nothing in G.S. 28A-18-2(a) or subdivision (1) of this section shall be interpreted to preclude recovery under this Article for loss of support or death on account of injury to or death of the underage person or a person who aided or abetted in the sale or furnishing to the underage person.
  • Parents– Clearly, under subsection (2), a parent of an underage person killed as a result of his own impaired driving would be an “aggrieved party” to the extent [*482] the parent’s automobile was damaged as a consequence of the underage person’s impaired driving and would have standing to maintain an action under G.S. § 18B-121. In addition, the last sentence of subsection (2) expressly renders inapplicable the limitation of G.S. § 28A-18-2(a) [**884] restricting the right of recovery of damages for death of the underage person to the personal representative. Indeed, as the Supreme Court must have recognized in its analysis of the statute in Clark, if the last sentence of subsection (2) were interpreted otherwise, G.S. § 28A-18-2(a) would preclude a parent from recovering for loss of support by the underage child. Subsection (2) provides that damages for death be determined as directed by G.S. § 28A-18-2(b). As applicable to the parent of the underage person, “injury” would include funeral expenses of the underage [***8] person, G.S. § 28A-18-2(b)(3), as well as damages for loss of services, G.S. § 28A-18-2(b)(4)b, society, companionship, etc., G.S. § 28A-18-2(b)(4)c, and loss of support. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 18B-120(2); Clark, supra. Thus, even though an action for wrongful death is reserved to the personal representative of the decedent and a parent, individually, may not maintain a wrongful death action for death of his or her child, Killian v. R.R., 128 N.C. 261, 38 S.E. 873 (1901), damages under G.S. § 28A-18-2(b) may be available, in a completely distinct claim under the Dram Shop Act to the parent of an underage child who negligently drove a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol and died from injuries sustained as a proximate result thereof. (Emphasis added)In summary, we hold that a parent of an underage person who dies from injuries proximately resulting from his operation of a motor vehicle while impaired after consuming alcohol negligently sold by a permittee may be included within the class of persons known as “aggrieved parties” under [***9] G.S. § 18B-120(1), and may recover damages for his or her “injury,” including damages pursuant to G.S. § 28A-18-2(b). Storch v. Winn-Dixie Charlotte, 149 N.C. App. 478, 481-482 (N.C. Ct. App. 2002) rev. denied 355 N.C. 757, 566 S.E.2d 482, 2002 N.C. LEXIS 563 (2002)
  • Bars can’t sue– it is clear that the intent was only to enable an injured party to seek compensation from a permittee or ABC board; we can find nothing in N.C.G.S. § 18B-120, et seq., suggesting a legislative intent to create new theories of liability against the negligent driver who causes the injury. Green v. Fishing Piers, Inc., 714 S.E.2d 510, 513 (N.C. Ct. App. 2011)
  • § 18B-121. Claim for relief created for sale to underage personAn aggrieved party has a claim for relief for damages against a permittee or local Alcoholic Beverage Control Board if:(1) The permittee or his agent or employee or the local board or its agent or employee negligently sold or furnished an alcoholic beverage to an underage person; and(2) The consumption of the alcoholic beverage that was sold or furnished to an underage person caused or contributed to, in whole or in part, an underage driver’s being subject to an impairing substance within the meaning of G.S. 20-138.1 at the time of the injury; and

    (3) The injury that resulted was proximately caused by the underage driver’s negligent operation of a vehicle while so impaired.

    N.C. Gen. Stat. § 18B-121