1. #1
    makes good girls go bad
    BLSboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    On the beach, Fla/OCNJ

    Default NJ courts reduce personal responsibility.....

    Unbelievable. I will miss some people, friends, food, and the boardwalk in the summer, but I DON'T miss this kind of idiocy from the courts.....

    Sobering court ruling finds opposition from bar owners
    By MICHAEL MILLER Staff Writer, 609-463-6712
    Published: Saturday, March 22, 2008

    Bar patrons and owners disagreed with a court's decision this week that bartenders are responsible for all drunken patrons, even those to whom they serve no alcohol.

    A state Appellate Division panel ruled Thursday that a Cape May restaurant could be sued by the estate of an Upper Township man who was killed in a drunken-driving accident in 2003.

    James A. Hamby, 21, a construction worker from Upper Township, was a passenger riding with a drunken friend who crashed on the Garden State Parkway after leaving the C View Inn in Cape May.

    The driver of the car, Frederick Nesbitt III, of Dennis Township, was 19, and thus underage, at the time of the crash.

    According to court papers, Nesbitt spent two hours drinking beer and rum before going to the Cape May restaurant, where he was served non-alcoholic soda.

    Nesbitt pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and was sentenced to five years in state prison, according to court papers. He is eligible for parole July 31.

    At sentencing, Nesbitt told the court he had too much to drink that night and should not have been driving.

    According to court papers, Hamby and Nesbitt were rowdy that night, which should have been a sign to restaurant staff that they were intoxicated. In depositions, the friends testified they knew Hamby was drunk because he exposed his pierced penis at the table to show his friends where he wanted to get a smiley-face tattoo.

    Nesbitt, the driver in the accident, was using profanity and raising his voice, they said in court papers.

    After the accident, Nesbitt's blood-alcohol level tested at .19 - about twice the legal limit.

    The court ruled that if the inn recognized Hamby was intoxicated, "the inn had a duty to protect him from foreseeable injury as the result of an automobile accident by insuring he did not drive and that he did not ride as a passenger with a patron who was similarly impaired."

    Likewise, the court ruled that the inn was responsible for Nesbitt. Even though he was not served any alcohol at the restaurant, he was visibly intoxicated, the court determined. Therefore, the restaurant was negligent, the court said.

    Patrons at Atkinson's Tavern in Middle Township said customers are responsible for their own behavior.

    "I have some guys. We rent a limo. We paint the town whatever color we want," Middle Township resident Tyrone Spaulding said. "It falls on the individual person. If I feel I have one too many, it would be on me."

    Bill Delanzo, a bartender at Atkinson's and son of the owner, said he feels a moral obligation to make sure all of his customers get home safely. Even so, he said, it can be tricky to tell if someone is intoxicated.

    "It's hard to control that," he said. "It's happened many a time that someone has been flagged at another bar and comes in here."

    Pub crawls are popular, especially during festivals. Usually, groups of friends hire or designate a driver so they can go freely from bar to bar.

    Ric Rutherford of Rio Station in Middle Township said he would like to think his employees would have intervened under similar circumstances.

    "That's a pretty gross example of overlooking behavior. If that had happened in our house, that guy wouldn't have gotten out of there," he said. "Somebody in that crew should have noticed it."

    But Rutherford conceded it might be difficult for his bartenders to police the unseen behavior of his customers.

    "Bar owners have insurance. We're pretty protected from monetary losses. But we're not protected from emotional losses. Serving alcohol is a dangerous business," he said. "We have a responsibility to look out for people who drink."

    At Atlantic City's Ducktown Tavern, owner John Exadaktilos said it is easier to keep tabs on the drinking habits of regulars. But how are bartenders to know what customers have been doing before they arrived?

    "I have people who come in here. You would never know they were drunk or not," Exadaktilos said.

    "It just sucks. I see the 'Big Brother' effect. You want to go out and have a good time on the weekend, have fun. But you should be responsible for your own actions," he said.
    AJ, MICP, FireMedic
    Member, IACOJ.
    This message has been made longer, in part from a grant from the You Are a Freaking Moron Foundation.

  2. #2
    Piney Power
    PineyPower's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Berkeley Township, New Jersey, United States


    What? That is so ridiculously stupid. Leave it up to our state to continue to mess up everything. Seaside is like 10 minutes East of my own town, too. Wow. These people are crazy.
    Pinewald Pioneer Vol. Fire Co. No. 1 Sta. 20
    "Piney Power"

    Berkeley Emergency Response Team (B.E.R.T./Haz-Mat/WMD/CBRNE) Station 85
    Berkeley Township, New Jersey 08721

  3. #3
    Good thing's happening

    Join Date
    May 2007
    NYC to NC to NY


    Quote Originally Posted by PineyPower View Post
    What? That is so ridiculously stupid. Leave it up to our state to continue to mess up everything. Seaside is like 10 minutes East of my own town, too. Wow. These people are crazy.
    I grew up in Staten Island and every year we would go to Seaside several times during the summer sometimes just for the day sometimes for 2 days so im quite familiar with it even though I know that Cape May is no where near Seaside still affects Jersey but anyways getting back on subject this is just LUDICROUS how can a establishment be responsible for people that they didn't even serve alcohol ? Did they not even think of the logical thing of how hard asking for someones keys are ? Do they think the intoxicated person is just going to say yeahhh suree here they are ? Or are they just going to becoming even more combative ? And what happens if they asked them to leave because of the male showing his penis or him just being intoxicated ? is it still the establishment's responsibility ? Ok im done for now..

    Last edited by eaglesrule1024; 03-22-2008 at 06:25 PM. Reason: editing

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    MEck51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    South Jersey


    Well on the good side. The C-view is a great place to drink.

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber

    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Flanders, NJ


    Two thoughts.

    1. This is the type of court ruling that makes bad law. You are going to see some extreme measures taken in some establishments.

    2. I have spent countless hours in my younger years in licensed liquor establishments. I can safely say that if someone exposed their penis in the bar and wasn't in the rest room, the chances of him spending even another minute there would be remote. That part of this post belongs in my "Only in NJ" thread.

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