Category Archives: Legislation

Legislative Update: TN Tort Reform SB 56 / HB 1099

I have been reporting on some changes to tort reform in Tennessee that will positively affect Tennessee premise owners.  Please see my prior post on this legislation for a more detailed discussion.  In sum, House Bill 1099 overturns joint and several liability in several key situations.  It recently passed the Tennessee House and is now on Governor Haslam’s desk for passage. Here is a link to the Bill Summary:

http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/billinfo/BillSummaryArchive.aspx?BillNumber=SB0056&ga=108

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Tennessee Dram Shop Act: “Visible intoxication” Exception

Drunk ImageThe plain language of Section 57-10-102(2) requires a sale of an alcoholic beverage or beer to “a visibly intoxicated person.”  The adverb “visibly” means “capable of being seen” or “exposed to view.” Taking “visibly” together with “intoxicated”, the only logical conclusion is that Section 102(2) requires proof that the alleged intoxication was perceptible or capable of being seen by the server or bartender at the time of sale. Continue reading

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Tennessee Dram Shop Liability

 

Bartender

Traditionally, the term “dram shop” referred to a shop where spirits were sold by the dram, a small unit of liquid.  A dram is nearly equivalent to a teaspoon and in years past was used to refer to a small amount of Scottish whiskey.  So, if you want to befuddle your local barkeep, try ordering a “wee dram of Laphroaig” in your best Scottish accent.

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Tort Reform – Joint and Several Liability

The Tennessee Legislature has proposed major reforms that will abrogate joint and several liability in several key areas. Senate Bill 56 breezed through the Senate (25 ayes to 7 nays) on February 11, 2013. House Bill 1099 is identical to Senate Bill 56 and is currently with the Calendar and Rules Committee awaiting a vote in the House. According to sources, House Bill 1099 is expected to be up for a vote within a week. Here are the links to SB 56 and HB 1099: Continue reading

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