The family of Daniel Golden, a Huntsville, Ala. police officer, who was killed in a shooting, was awarded $37.5 million in punitive damages by jury in Madison County, Ala. The officer’s family sued Benito Albarran, the man who shot him, and El Jalisco Mexican, the restaurant where Albarran worked. The jury awarded the family $25 million against Albarran and $12.5 million against the restaurant. Officer Golden was killed in 2005 after answering a domestic dispute call at the restaurant. He was shot twice in the head and died from his wounds. Albarran was sentenced to death for the crime in 2008 and is on death row.
The restaurant was responsible for Albarran being drunk the night he shot Officer Golden. Alabama’s dram shop law prohibits restaurants which serve alcohol from serving working employees and from serving anyone to the point of intoxication. Matt Milner, one of the lawyers for the family, said after the verdict:
The jury stood up for the Golden family, the Huntsville Police Department and the entire community.
Hopefully, this verdict will deter restaurant owners, operators and employees from serving any patrons to the point of intoxication or after having too much to drink. The verdict should send a message to other bars and restaurants that think the dram shop law doesn’t apply to them. Obviously, the dram shop act was meant to protect the public from drunk drivers.
Source: The Huntsville Times
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