Applebee’s has settled a lawsuit brought by the parents of a young Texas boy who suffered brain injuries when a drunk restaurant patron crashed into their car. The parents of Abdallah Khader, now six, sought $10 million from Kansas City, Mo.-based Applebee’s in their civil lawsuit. But since the amount of the settlement is confidential, the amount to be paid can’t be disclosed. The lawsuit accused workers at an Applebee’s Restaurant, located in Mansfield, Texas, of serving a man 23 drinks in less than two hours, causing him to drive drunk and crash into the Khaders’ car. The investigation by the family’s lawyers was largely responsible for the settlement.
The investigation located the alleged drunken driver’s receipts from Applebee’s, which showed he paid for nearly two dozen drinks in a two-hour span. Police determined the driver’s blood-alcohol level was more than three times Texas’ legal limit, which is 0.08%. The Khaders sued Applebee’s and the drunken driver, a repeat DUI offender who also faces criminal charges related to the crash, in the lawsuit. The driver’s criminal trial is pending. Abdallah Khader suffered damage to 80% of his brain in the crash. His family incurred massive medical expenses. The child will never be able to stand, sit up, walk or even speak. Their lawsuit asked for $10 million to cover round-the-clock medical care along with lost future earnings, mental anguish, and pain and suffering — all typical damages in a personal-injury case of this sort. You can only imagine what a life-care plan for the youngster would look like, considering his age and condition, but you can rest assured that the cost would be very high.
Texas has a Dram Shop Act, which like those laws in many other states, allows businesses to be sued for damages arising from serving too much alcohol to a customer who later causes a motor vehicle crash. Those who serve alcohol have a legal duty to do so responsibly and also to do so very carefully. The central issue is whether the customer was served alcohol after showing visible signs of intoxication. Of course, number of drinks served is always important. Though the amount of the settlement is confidential, the Khaders will now be able to pay for a special van and a nurse to take care of their son’s ongoing needs. Charlas G. Aldous, a Dallas lawyer with the Aldous law firm, represented the family in this lawsuit and she did a very good job.
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