After a five-day jury trial, KNM’s Derek MacKay and Phillip Raine secured a complete defense verdict on behalf of the client, a Lawrence, Kansas bar and restaurant.
The claim arose after an intoxicated bar patron fell down a set of stairs and collided with another bar patron, causing her to strike her head and suffer fatal injuries. The decedent’s estate sued the bar and restaurant for wrongful death on a premises liability theory, arguing that the combination of the intoxicated patron and the historic stairs at the property created a dangerous condition. While Kansas does not recognize dram shop liability and evidence of the bar patron’s intoxication should have been excluded from trial, the trial court allowed in all evidence of the night’s activities and intoxication, altering the landscape of the trial into a de facto dram shop case. Despite this, the jury found no negligence on the part of KNM’s client. In closing arguments, plaintiff’s attorney blackboarded between $3M and $4M in damages and suggested a jury verdict of $5M or more.
Derek and Phil were assisted by attorney Mike Wise and paralegal Ashley Smith. Please join us in congratulating Derek, Phil, Mike, and Ashley on this win.