In the case of Gary L. West v. East Tennessee Pioneer Oil, the Tennessee Supreme Court expanded potential liability to those who sold goods or helped inebriated customers perform actions that would later cause harm to another.
West was seriously injured in a head-on collision in a northbound lane of US Highway 11W on July 22, 2000. He crashed into Brian Lee Tarver who was driving drunk on the highway in a south-bound direction.
Prior to the accident, Tarver was at an Exxon Convenience Store, which was owned and operated by East Tennessee Pioneer Oil. Employees at the convenience store refused to sell beer to Tarver, but allowed him to purchase $3 worth of gasoline. Tarver was so intoxicated that an employee had to help him pump the gas into his car. The same employee watched Tarver stumble into his car and drive off, going south-bound in the north-bound lanes of US Highway 11W without his lights on. None of the employees present notified the police.
The Tennessee Supreme Court found that a duty of care was owed to West by the convenience store due to the actions of the employees. They held that it was the stores responsibility to not sell gasoline to an inebriated customer and that they should be held liable for the accident.
If you have been hit by a drunk driver or involved in a multi-vehicle accident caused by an intoxicated individual, contact Greg Coleman personally today at (865) 247-0080 or email email@example.com.
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