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Bar deemed blameless in case of drunk patron who was hit by a car


polo Credit: polo

The lawyer for a man who got so smashed playing beer pong at a Greenwich Village bar he got hit by a car while crossing a major highway will ask a Manhattan Supreme Court justice to reconsider her Monday ruling that his client's injuries were his own fault.

New York State Liquor Authority rules prohibit bars from beer pong games, said attorney Michael Wiseberg, because they promote inebriation. (His client's blood alcohol level was four times higher than the legal limit for drivers.) Wiseberg's client, Alan Berger, sued Wicked Willy's for providing the game and failing to monitor players.

But Judge Lucy Billings ruled that the bar had no duty to warn patrons of the "risks of engaging in drinking activity" nor did it have a duty to monitor its participants, according to the New York Post. "Plaintiff voluntarily engaged in the drinking game," and "consumed alcohol to the point of diminished capacity," said the judge.

Berger was 22 in June 2009 when he engaged in the beer pong tourney, took a bus home and then suffered a slew of injuries including a broken leg, foot and hip, and a lacerated liver while trying to cross Highway 9 in Manalapan. He sought damages from the bar for the "severe shock, pain and mental anguish" resulting from the car accident.

A person answering the phone at Wicked Willy's, which on its website carries a banner that reads "Time Flies When You're Having Rum" beneath a skull and crossbones, said the bar had no comment on the case.


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