Applebee's has settled a lawsuit brought by parents of a Texas boy who suffered brain injuries when an allegedly drunk restaurant patron crashed into their car.
The parents of Abdallah Khader, now 6, sought $10 million from Kansas City, Mo.-based Applebee's in a civil lawsuit, Dallas' KTVT reports. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed.
The Khaders' lawsuit accused workers at a Mansfield, Texas, Applebee's of serving a man 23 drinks in less than two hours, leading him to drive drunk and crash into the Khaders' car. A law firm's investigation was key to the Applebee's settlement, the family's lawyer said.
The firm's investigation dug up the alleged drunken driver's Applebee's receipts, which showed he paid for nearly two dozen drinks in a two-hour span. Police determined the driver's blood-alcohol level was more than three times Texas' legal limit, which is 0.08%.
The Khaders sued Applebee's and the drunken driver, a repeat DWI offender who also faces criminal charges related to the crash. The driver's criminal trial is pending, KTVT reports.
Abdallah Khader suffered damage to 80% of his brain in the crash, and his family incurred massive medical expenses. Their lawsuit asked for $10 million to cover round-the-clock medical care along with lost future earnings, mental anguish, and pain and suffering -- all typical damages in a personal-injury case.
As for the cause of action, the Khaders' suit likely cited Texas' Dram Shop Act. The law, like that in many other states, allows businesses to be sued for damages arising from serving too much alcohol to a customer who later causes a crash.
The Khaders' settlement is "a reminder to those who serve alcohol that they have a responsibility to do so very carefully," the Khaders' lawyer said.
Though the Applebee's settlement amount is being kept secret, the Khaders will now be able to pay for a special van and a nurse to take care of Abdallah's ongoing needs, the family's lawyer told KTVT.
- Family of Brain-Injured Child Settles Dallas Lawsuit Against Applebee's (PR Newswire)
- Personal Injury Law: The Basics (FindLaw)
- Dram Shop Law: Liability and the Alcohol Seller (FindLaw's Injured)
- Applebee's Retrains Staff After Toddler is Served Alcohol (FindLaw's In House)