$585,500 Jury Verdict for Child Killed by Intoxicated Driver

  • Date: Spring 1993
  • FIRM
  • Settlement: $585,000
  • Practice Areas: Pedestrian Knockdown, Drunk Driver, Dram Shop

The parents of a five-year-old child received a jury verdict of $585,000 against the intoxicated, underage driver who killed him and against the tavern which served the driver based on a false identification card.

Argued in Bergen County, this case has been reported in numerous state and national legal publications, because of the significant limitation usually set on the amount of award allowed for the death of small children.

While crossing the street with his mother, the child was killed when the driver, who was traveling 40 in a 25 zone, failed to stop. The 20-year-old driver had been drinking at a nearby tavern for nearly two hours before the accident. A Bergen County resident, Blume Forte proved that the ID was obviously fraudulent, consisting of an expired and altered motorcycle permit, which was not validated by the DMV. It was also shown that the driver would had to have consumed eight drinks to reach the level of intoxication recorded by the police right after the accident.