The opinion of the court was delivered by: VINCENT L. BRODERICK
VINCENT L. BRODERICK, U.S.D.J.
This suit is based on an automobile accident involving a vehicle driven by William Downey ("Downey") and owned by Alicia Shinnick, which went over a 50-foot embankment after Downey and the passenger in the car, Randall Conrad, had imbibed alcohol at several bars including Beck-Turek, Ltd., Inc. d/b/a/ Skinner's Bar ("Skinner's"). Randall Conrad was killed in the accident. Plaintiff Dorothy Conrad is executrix for her deceased son. Plaintiff alleges that the defendant Skinner's served alcohol to Downey when he was clearly intoxicated, and seeks relief both for the decedent's estate and on her own behalf. Plaintiff's claims are asserted under the New York Dram Shop Act (General Obligations Law 11-101), for wrongful death, pain and suffering, and for loss of financial and personal support.
Plaintiff seeks summary judgment against defendant Skinner's on the question of liability.
Skinner's seeks summary judgment dismissing each aspect of plaintiff's case. Skinner's also seeks to have payments by the driver (Downey) to settle claims of the estate of the deceased passenger Randall Conrad applied in calculating any liability of Skinner's to plaintiff Dorothy Conrad in her individual capacity as well as in her capacity as executrix under General Obligations Law 15-108.
Skinner's motion under General Obligations Law 15-108 is granted; all other motions of each of the parties are denied.
Similarly, it is plausible to find that a car spinning out of control and falling down a 50-foot embankment could generate terror on the part of a passenger, who when crushed might endure excruciating pain. A factfinder, however, would not be compelled to reach these conclusions. Determining such an issue as a matter of law under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56 is inappropriate on this record.
Skinner's argues that summary judgment should be granted barring plaintiff's claims because the decedent was part of a drinking party including himself and the driver. This contention lacks merit.
The objective of the Dram Shop Act is both to recompense victims of injuries contributed to by irresponsible service of liquor to intoxicated customers, and to deter such service. See Bartlett v. Grande, 103 A.D.2d 671, 481 N.Y.S.2d 566 (4th Dept 1984); Platano v. Norm's Castle, 830 F. Supp. 796, 799 (SDNY 1993).
Accordingly, intoxication of Randall Conrad, a nondriver victim of an accident contributed to by service of liquor to the driver is not a defense. Mitchell v. The Shoals, 19 N.Y.2d 338, 280 N.Y.S.2d 113, 227 N.E.2d 21 (1967); French v. ...