Amos Gern and Mayra P. Suazo-Aquino settled a wrongful death/dram shop case for $500,000, for the estate of a Newark fireman, killed by a drunk driver, who was over-served alcohol at a nightclub

The decedent, 49 at his death on October 17, 2017, was a computer programmer in its IT department. He left a 50-year old widow, with whom he was married for 17 years. He further left 3 minor children, twin boys age 10, and a 12-year old sister, all from another relationship with their mother, all now living in North Carolina. An economist hired by the estate calculated total pecuniary losses of $1.3 million, based on lost income, and lost services to the widow and children. Since the decedent died instantly in this head-on accident, there was no claim for life-time survival damages. An early mediation with former US Magistrate Joel Rosen failed. However, settlement was reached just before the matter was scheduled for Court mandated arbitration, in the pending litigation in Essex County. Plaintiff retained Alcohol Toxicology expert, John Brick, PhD, who was able to review videos of the drunk patron at the lounge the early morning of the incident. He also had the benefit of reviewing extensive records of investigation by the Newark Police Department, and the prosecution of the driver for death by auto by the Essex County Prosecutor, for which he was sentenced to 10 years in jail. Dr. Brick concluded that the bar’s patron was “visibly impaired” between 1:40 and 2:00 am, before he left the lounge and entered his vehicle, shortly before the accident. It was specifically concluded that the bar served the intoxicated driver via unregulated and unmonitored “bottle service,” which enabled the patron’s consumption of 15 to 20 ounces of liquor in a relatively short period, providing notice of his intoxication.

Starr, Gern, Davison & Rubin, P.C.
105 Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 401
Roseland, NJ 07068-1640

Phone:973-403-9200
Toll Free:800-403-9090