Monthly Archives: May 2013

Duty to Stop Patrons From Driving Drunk

Until recently, there was no duty in Tennessee to prevent patrons from driving drunk.  However, a recent Court of Appeals decision calls into question whether premises owners have a duty to take action when a patron is obviously drunk and likely to leave the premises in a vehicle.  See JOLYN CULLUM, ET. AL. v. JAN McCOOL, ET. AL.  In this case, the defendant, McCool, entered Wal-Mart and attempted to buy prescription medication.  The Wal-Mart employees refused to sell McCool prescription drugs because McCool was obviously inebriated.  McCool then lost her cool, became belligerent, and was ordered her to leave the premises.  She subsequently backed her car into an unsuspecting patron who was loading groceries into the back of her vehicle.  Continue reading


Legislative Update: Senate Bill 56 Effective July 1, 2013

Senate Bill 56 has been assigned Public Chapter 317 by the Secretary of State.  The Act became official on April 29, 2013, and will be effective for all actions accruing on or after July 1, 2013.  For those defending bars, restaurants, and premise owners at large, this Act overturns joint and several liability for intentional torts on premises.  Here is a link to the Bill: