October 2020 Newsletter

News and notes from Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A. this month!

Michael J. Overbeck settled a case of product/premises liability for a woman injured at a local restaurant

Partner Michael J. Overbeck secured a substantial six-figure settlement for a woman in her 70s who was injured a local restaurant. The woman was out to dinner with family and as she was exiting from the booth, the table tipped when she used it to stand up, causing her to fall and break her leg.  Her injury was so severe that surgery was required. But then there were surgical complications, leaving her comatose for almost a month.

This case is what is called a premises/product liability as the table was designed to be bolted to the floor, and the table’s legs were assembled too close together, which made it unstable.

Injury accidents can happen anywhere, and at any time. All of us, including property owners, have a legal obligation (known as a duty of care) to take reasonable steps to prevent others from suffering harm. If a property owner fails to take the proper precautions and address hazards or warn of dangers on their property and you’re injured as a result, they could owe you compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.

Product liability cases involve complex legal issues, and our attorneys are knowledgeable about Florida products liability law and have built a reputation for successfully fighting for people just like you.

Partner William Zoeller discusses the process of a personal injury case

What is a Dram Shop?

By: Jason D. Weisser

In legal terms, a bar, tavern or similar commercial establishment where alcoholic beverages are sold or furnished are called dram shops (or dramshops). Traditionally, it is a place where spirits were sold by the “dram,” a small unit of liquid.

And like with everything, there are laws to protect people from those who don’t think they are accountable. Dram Shop Laws establish the liability of establishments arising out of the sale or furnishing of alcohol to individuals under the legal drinking age or habitual drunkards.

The concept behind these laws is that a person who is intoxicated is not of sound mind to make decisions in operating a motor vehicle, or actions that may cause harm to others. The seller or furnisher of the alcoholic beverages becomes liable to any injured party for serving the minor or the habitual drunkard. This applies both to the person who was served the alcohol and injured, or if the person who was served the alcohol and injures a third party.

Our firm has handled dozens of dram shop cases that have resulted in millions of dollars of recoveries for injured parties that were either minors who we’re provided alcohol illegally, or for persons who were habitual drunkards and yet we’re still served by establishments that knew of their drinking issues.

Damages for losses suffered in a dram shop claim may include compensation for things like:

  • Medical bills, emergency care, surgery, hospitalization, medication, and rehabilitation
  • Lost wages, including wages and benefits that might reasonably have been earned if the injuries Costs for damaged or destroyed property
  • Pain and suffering

We have handled cases where a convenience store served minors who were killed in an accident, as well as minors who injured and killed other people after consuming the alcohol that was provided to them. We also handled numerous cases against bars and restaurants who served habitual drunkards — knowing that they had a drinking problem — and yet continued to allow them to become intoxicated at their establishment on multiple occasions without taking necessary precautions to protect the public.

Dram shop cases are unique and frequently circumstantial evidence is necessary to establish that the bar or restaurant served a habitual drunkard. Expert testimony is sometimes necessary in order to establish this. Having handled dozens of these cases, our firm is highly-skilled and successful litigating dram shop cases.

Call 561-689-8180 for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

Congratulations to Richard D. Schuler!

Our firm is proud to announce  that our CEO, President and Founding Partner, Mr. Richard D. Schuler, has been recognized as one of this year’s BestLawyers.

Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer review publication in the legal profession. Recognition in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers.

The best lawyers know who the best lawyers are. It’s our founding principle and remains unchanged. Our belief has always been that the quality of a peer review survey is directly related to the quality of the voters.” –Best Lawyers

At Schuler, Weisser, Zoeller, Overbeck & Baxter P.A., we have more than 40 years of experience helping people just like you take legal action in cases involving:

  • Car, Truck, Motorcycle, Boating and Airplane Accidents
  • Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
  • Premises and Product Liability
  • Nursing Home Abuse
  • Wrongful Death
  • Mass Torts and Class Actions

Congratulations, Mr. Schuler, for being named the best of the best (but we already knew that!).

Last Updated : October 6, 2022

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