Dram Shop

Dram Shop Liability Defense Attorneys

Handling over 100 dram shop cases, Schneider & Onofry has long been a primary “go to” Arizona law firm for insurance carriers seeking effective defense in claims of dram shop liability.

Industry-Specific Knowledge and Experience in Dram Shop Liabiltiy Defense

Since the firm's founding in 1999, dram shop liability litigation has been one of our most significant practice areas, as Schneider & Onofry attorneys have handled over 100 dram shop cases.

Of 16 Arizona dram shop matters contained in a 2016 Trial Reporter compendium, Schneider & Onofry successfully defended insurers in five of those cases (the most of any Arizona law firm):
  • Four of the five cases resulted in a defense verdict or apportionment of 0% fault.
  • The remaining case was settled prior to trial.
Our attorneys are familiar with the issues that typically arise in dram shop cases, the types of experts involved, and have even gained familiarity with the "usual suspects" that plaintiffs use for experts. We are keenly familiar with the different types of devices used, including roadside PBT tests, breathalyzer tests, and blood draws. We have also gained a thorough understanding of the factors affecting an individual's impairment, including retrograde analysis, elimination rates, and alcohol tolerance.

Published Opinions

  • Henning v. Montecini Hospitality, Inc., 217 Ariz. 242, 173 P.3d 430 (App. 2007): Summary judgment in dram shop action affirmed in favor of seller of a bar where purchase was not completely finalized; seller owed no duty to person injured by intoxicated patron because seller maintained no control over operation of the premises
  • Battistello v. The Tilted Kilt of Ariz., LLC, 1 CA-CV 10-0739 (12/22/2011), 2011 WL 6747422: Jury verdict in favor of bar upheld in dram shop matter

Memorandum Decision

  • Battistello v. The Tilted Kilt of Ariz., LLC, 1 CA-CV 10-0739 (12/22/2011), 2011 WL 6747422: Jury verdict in favor of bar upheld in dram shop matter
  • Anderson v. Graham Bros. et al., 1 CA-CV 09-0254 (8/26/2010), 2010 WL 3366656: Summary judgment in favor of bar affirmed in dram shop action where patron had been safely transported home and later left home while still intoxicated, seriously injuring the plaintiff; intoxicated patron's decision to leave her home and drive was an intervening and superseding cause that broke the chain of proximate causation

Industry Emphasis

Dram shop liability is of particular importance in the hospitality industry. Schneider & Onofry attorneys have represented numerous hotels, resorts, restaurants and bars in a wide ranges of issues such as:
  • liquor liability
  • liquor licensing issues
  • premises liability
  • negligent security
  • trip-and-fall claims
  • criminal conduct of third-parties
  • false imprisonment
  • food-born illness claims
Our attorneys have significant experience in advising hospitality clients on how to prevent accidents and lawsuits. We collaborate with clients in evaluating staff training procedures, creating actions plans for defending against certain cases or scenarios, and educating staff of the potential consequences of violations. We also advise clients on how to comply with the most recent Arizona dram shop laws by carrying the necessary liquor liability insurance and on how to train employees to recognize intoxicated customers.

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