Heyl Royster

Liquor Liability & Dramshop

Protecting the rights of those in the unique legal space of the liquor industry.

Liquor liability is a unique legal space that requires specialized knowledge of the history and purpose of Liquor Control Acts, their prior amendments, limitations, exceptions, and available defenses. Heyl Royster's experienced Liquor Liability Practice Group protects the rights of those in the liquor industry and defends clients involved in, or associated with, the liquor and alcoholic beverage industry. Our experienced team understands the legislature, statutory limitations on recovery, and how reducing exposure is essential to protecting those rights.

Many businesses and organizations, whether traditionally liquor-related or not, face other potential liabilities that could come under the umbrella of "liquor liability." Restaurants and other businesses selling liquor have other risks closely associated with alcoholic liquors. These may involve claims by persons injured on the premises by the criminal acts of third parties who may have consumed alcoholic liquors but are not intoxicated. Even organizations that sponsor social or employment-related events providing,but not selling, liquor and not-for-profit organizations performing fundraising where alcohol is involved have liquor liability issues and risks.

Our top priority is having committed, skilled attorneys who understand your concerns and needs. We will fight to protect the rights of those in the liquor industry.



If your business, organization, or you as an individual need premier liquor liability and dramshop services from an industry-leading defense law firm, the dedicated legal minds at Heyl Royster are ready to provide you with the legal advice and legal services that you deserve. From risk assessment to compliance issues, labor law, and more, our wide-ranging practices are staffed by experienced litigators ready to come to your defense.

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Stephanie L. Edwards-White v. Stu Andrews, (Stuart Andrews) d/b/a Andrews Lounge, Dram Shop, Circuit Court, Knox County, Illinois – Plaintiff, a 31-year-old nurse's aide, claimed a man allegedly became intoxicated from drinking at the insured's tavern. During a scuffle in the parking lot of the insured's premises, they forcefully pushed her down, fracturing her ankle. Defendant admitted the allegedly intoxicated person drank in his bar for hours but denied causing intoxication. Defendant also raised an affirmative defense of provocation, claiming that the plaintiff provoked the allegedly intoxicated person by engaging in fighting words with, and perhaps pushing, the girlfriend of the allegedly intoxicated person. The plaintiff denied this and claimed the allegedly intoxicated person later apologized for breaking her ankle. Plaintiff's ankle fracture required an open reduction and internal fixation under general anesthesia, with the placement of permanent hardware and a syndesmotic screw across the ankle mortise, which was later removed in a second procedure also under general anesthesia. Plaintiff claimed permanent injuries and disability as well as wage loss and pain and suffering. Result: Not guilty.

Reed for Use and Benefit of Reed v. Fleming, 132 Ill. App. 3d 722, 477 N.E.2d 733 (3d Dist. 1985) – Issue of whether proximate cause between the drinking of alcoholic beverages and an auto crash can ever be established in a single car, unwitnessed accident where the driver is deceased and there exist no facts to show why the car left the roadway while negotiating a turn.

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