Ottawa Man Obtains Dramshop Liability Verdict Against Godfrey Tavern

Roper's Regal Beagle lost a case against an Ottawa, IL resident who sought damages for injuries sustained in a bar fight.

Represented by WWF&G Attorney Michael P. Glisson, plaintiff James Ceja received a $35,000 verdict from the Madison County jury in last week's dramshop case. According to the Madison/St. Clair Record, the award covered $24,000 in medical bills, $1,500 for pain and suffering and $9,000 in lost income. The insurance company offered $5,000 before the trial.

The fight two years ago pitted Ceja against Regal Beagle customer Michael Whittman, who became intoxicated by drinking alcohol purchased at the bar and rained blows upon Ceja. The fight caused Ceja to become injured and miss work time. Whittman settled the civil case earlier this year with the customer, but Glisson also held the Regal Beagle responsible for Ceja's injuries.

Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla presided over the trial, which began on Sept. 7.

Dramshop laws hold taverns and other businesses that sell liquor responsible for injuries caused by intoxication because they profit from sales of alcohol. The statute of limitations on such cases expires in one year, so victims of dram shop-related injuries are advised to act quickly. The State of Illinois Liquor Control Commission has set a limit of $60,247.68 for each person incurring damages, and the limit changes each year depending on the consumer price index.

As evidenced by the $35,000 result of Ceja's law suit against Roper's Regal Beagle, the dramshop liability attorneys of WWF&G are experienced at gaining positive results for clients in dramshop cases.