Dec 9th, 2015

Oregon Supreme Court victory – liquor liability

Shareholder Nicole Rhoades, shareholder Dan Hasson, and associate Jonathan Henderson obtained an Oregon Supreme Court affirmance of a trial court ruling granting complete summary judgment in favor of their client on claims brought by two separate plaintiffs arising out of a January 2010 shooting incident. The firm’s client was a fraternal organization alleged to have provided alcohol to a person who later shot and injured the two plaintiffs at a nearby gaming establishment. Plaintiffs brought claims seeking approximately $10 million in compensatory and punitive damages, alleging that the shooter (who was subsequently convicted of multiple counts of assault and attempted murder) had been served alcoholic beverages by the client while he was visibly intoxicated. Dan successfully argued to the trial court that summary judgment was appropriate because the shooter’s criminal assault was not reasonably foreseeable as a matter of law. On appeal, Jonathan successfully defended the summary judgment ruling in both the Oregon Court of Appeals and the Oregon Supreme Court, arguing that the evidentiary record could not support a jury question on the issue of foreseeability of the shootings.