The Undertaker’s Doctrine: Over-Serving Alcohol in Miami

Many people have gone out and partied and drank too much. Sometimes these intoxicated people make the decision to drive and cause car accidents. These crashes often result in serious injuries and even death.

Are bartenders and alcohol servers partially responsible for these unfortunate accidents? Do they have a responsibility to stop serving to customers who they believe may be drunk? Read on to learn about Florida law when it comes to serving alcohol in Miami.

What Florida Law Says

Under Florida Statutes 768.125, a bartender, restaurant server or any other person who sells or furnishes alcohol to another person is not liable for damages the person causes to someone else. There are two exceptions to this rule, however. The person must be of legal drinking age and not be a known alcohol addict.

Therefore, the person selling the alcoholic beverages must ensure that the person he or she is serving is at least age 21 and, to their knowledge, not habitually addicted to alcohol. If the bartender or server is negligent in serving alcohol, he or she can be held liable for injuries and other damages caused by the intoxicated patron.

What is the Undertaker’s Doctrine?

The Undertaker’s Doctrine refers to some undertaking to provide a service to another person. The “undertaker,” which refers to a bartender or someone else providing a service, assumes a duty to act in a careful manner and avoid causing harm to the person. Therefore, it is important for someone who voluntarily undertakes an act to accomplish it with the utmost care. Otherwise, the person on the receiving end of the act could be at an increased risk of undue harm.

Under the Undertaker’s Doctrine, a person could be liable for the actions of another person if he or she renders a service for the person and one of the following three actions occurs:

  • The undertaker does not exercise reasonable care, and as a result, increases the risk of harm.
  • The undertaker performs a duty that the other person should be performing.
  • The undertaker is relied upon by someone else to perform the action.

Under this rule, negligence is defined as the failure to conform to a standard of care. Even if this is done through stupidity, clumsiness, forgetfulness or ignorance, it is considered negligence. Therefore, being awkward or foolish can result in significant liability. An honest mistake or belief that no damage may result from an action may or may not result in a lesser amount of liability, since the risk of harm is still great.

Injured by a Bartender’s Negligence? Contact Our Team Today

While Florida laws do protect restaurants and bars to some degree, sometimes alcohol servers are negligent. If a person drinks too much and injures or kills someone as a result, there are liability issues involved.

Let the Miami personal injury lawyers at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum, LLP help you with your case. We can help you recover compensation for your injuries or a loved one’s death. Contact us today at (305) 371-2692 to schedule a free consultation with one of our injury attorneys.