We all know that one can make a claim under the Dram Shop Act if a bar serves a visibly intoxicated person and that person causes injury to another. The classic case is when a bar serves a visibly intoxicated patron who then goes out and gets into his car and severely injures or kills someone. But the question of this post is a little different.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently ruled on this question. A police officer was in the course and scope of his work, and got a call to go to a bar regarding a drunk at the bar. The drunk was over-served by the bar and was loud, obnoxious and screaming. When the police officer arrived there, a verbal confrontation occurred and ultimately the drunk injured the police officer while he was trying to arrest him.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court had to look to why the officer was at the bar. He was at the bar in the course and scope of his employment. This was part of his job. He did have to physically fight with the drunk, but the Court decided that is also part of a police officer’s duty.
The bar argued that allowing the officer to bring a claim against them would violate public policy. Bars often have to seek an officer’s help with unruly patrons.
The Court wrestled with this issue about whether the officer could make a claim. Ultimately, though, the Court came down in favor of the bar. Part of their reason was in fact that the bar should not have to first consider insurance claim exposure when requesting police assistance. Doing so would endanger public safety. If a police officer, who was injured on the job under these circumstances, could make a claim against the bar, possibly they would not be called as often and innocent victims could be hurt in the process.
The name of the case is Juszczyszyn v. Taiwo, PICS No. 15-0589.
What do you think of this decision? Do you agree with it? Why or why not?
These are the kinds of thorny issues that Judges have to deal with on a daily basis.


A Welcome

Hello, and welcome to Bernie’s Blogs!! My name is Bernie Tully. I am a Pennsylvania attorney who practices personal injury law and criminal defense in the Pittsburgh area. My law practice covers Allegheny County, Westmoreland, Beaver, Butler, Washington, Greene, Erie, Armstrong Counties and other counties throughout Western Pennsylvania. I am 58 years old. I am happily married to my wife Michelle and we have 5 children.

I have been a licensed lawyer in the state of Pennsylvania since 1979. That means I have been practicing law for over 30 years. I worked 5-1/2 years as an Assistant District Attorney and had the opportunity to try hundreds of jury and non-jury cases. After working in the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office from 1979 thru 1985, I decided to change course and join a personal injury law firm in the city of Pittsburgh. I worked there for a couple of years and gained valued personal injury experience in the area of personal injury law.

In 1987, I decided to go out on my own, hang a shingle and practice primarily personal injury law and criminal defense. I have been practicing in those two areas consistently since then.

In addition to myself, I have two excellent Paralegals, Angela and Denise. They help me immensely with cases from our initial sign-up to the completion of the case and/or settlement. Angela is also my Administrative Paralegal. She makes sure I don’t bounce any checks. In addition, I have two investigators who we use to get to the scene of an injury or obtain other evidence in terms of witness statements and authorizations from the appropriate parties.

Mary, my secretary, is the first person a client talks to when they call my law office. She directs the calls to the appropriate person in our office. Angela, Denise and Mary are extremely dedicated, honest, competent and loyal.

I must say that this arrangement has worked out very well. There are no real personality conflicts at work. We all get along very well together. Additionally, we have been together for many many years and I hope we continue to do so for a long time into the future.

What is the purpose of Bernie’s Blogs? The primary purpose is to periodically write about issues in the personal injury and criminal defense field, and to take a somewhat lighter approach to the practice of law than you will find in other areas of my website. I do not expect you to agree with everything I say in Bernie’s Blogs. In fact, I welcome opposing views on any of the issues that we will be discussing.

Please contact us with any ideas or comments you have about anything in this blog.We love getting your feedback!

What’s in it for you? May I suggest to you that if you consistently read Bernie’s Blogsyou will learn a lot about Personal Injury Law and Criminal Defense Law. Also, you will find my Blog somewhat entertaining.

With that as a basis, let’s get started…..