An Oregon woman recently paralyzed from the waist down due to an auto accident, has filed a $30 million dollar lawsuit. The article on insurancejournal.com  and confirmed on oregonlive.com  and registerguard.com  states that the driver of the vehicle she was in was served alcohol by six different establishments prior to the accident.
The woman injured in the accident was Evelyn G. Allen. She was riding in the vehicle of Travis Simonis, a Ford F350, that drove into a house. Ms. Allen, a friend of Simonis, suffered severe injuries which have caused her to be a paraplegic according to the online accounts.
We can all agree that no amount of money will ever make Ms. Allen whole.
We can also all agree that when it comes to any personal injury lawsuit the lawyers’ job is to get the most money for his client as possible. The article posted on the registerguard.com indicates that the lawsuit sites over service as the proximate cause of the accident. This would place the blame for the injuries on the establishments that are being sued.
The article on the http://registerguard.com indicates that they did not want to sue the driver, Allen’s friend, but that it is really his insurance company being sued.
Well, in the case of the business owners, the insurance companies are involved there as well. Liquor liability is required by the state of Oregon to have and maintain a liquor license. The minimum coverage is $300,000 which is a long way from 30 million. Typical coverage is $1,000,000 to $4,000,000. Still a long way from the amount of the lawsuit.
What this does is put the business owner’s livelihood at risk.
Every server in Oregon that works in a place that serves alcohol must take a class on serving alcohol to avoid just this situation. You can see the “50 Signs Of Visible Intoxication,” here: http://www.oregon.gov/olcc/docs/publications/50_signs_visible_intoxication.pdf.
Every business in Oregon serving alcohol must adhere to a minimum standard.
Regardless of the training of the servers and the responsibility of the driver this case is bringing the ultimate responsibility back to the business owners that are alleged to have contributed to the injuries suffered by Ms. Allen.
Depending on how the businesses are set up this could even cause problems with financial earnings and personal assets well into the future.
Understanding the business and the risk associated with the business is an important aspect when choosing an insurance agent and the right coverage. I spent 10 years as a restaurant manager and another 14 years as a Claims Representative. Helping restaurant owners understand their risk is something I do every day.
I enjoy helping those that enter this industry because I know what it takes to run an operation like a bar and restaurant every day. Stories like Ms. Allen’s also make me understand why my job as an insurance professional is so important.
This case will affect Ms. Allen, Mr. Simonis, the businesses, the employees, all the families and friends involved, and the communities for years to come if not forever.
If you have not seen your agent to discuss your coverages call me today and I will gladly take a look. If I can not provide you with a better product I will help you find the right coverages for your situation, hoping that no one ever has to deal with a situation like the one outlined above.
Lucas Cole Insurance Agency
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