ArticleA pedestrian sustained serious injuries when he was struck by an intoxicated driver. A blood specimen obtained from the driver approximately 30 minutes after the crash revealed a serum alcohol concentration of 0.176 g/dl. Robson Forensic experts in Toxicology and Liquor Liability were retained to determine: 1) the dose of alcohol consumed in the hours prior to the crash 2) if the driver’s alcohol concentration was consistent with the likelihood that she displayed visible signs of intoxication while patronizing the local social club 3) if the actions/inactions of the social club were reckless and breached the industry standard of care for the service of alcohol and contributed to the pedestrian’s injuries.
Based on the serum alcohol concentration obtained from the driver, Robson Forensic toxicologist, Dr. Michael J. McCabe, Jr., determined that the driver’s circulating alcohol burden 30 minutes after the crash was the equivalent of 5.5 standard drinks. By adjusting for the physiological attributes of the driver and using accepted rates of alcohol metabolism, Dr. McCabe created three models to estimate the driver’s total alcohol consumption.
The toxicological analysis concluded that the driver had a peak BAC between .183 and .220 shortly after leaving the club and .158 BAC approximately thirty minutes after the crash. The driver would be considered grossly intoxicated by both toxicology and safe alcohol server standards. At a .183 - .220 BAC, the vast majority of people will exhibit substantial motor skill impairment, which was observed through testimony by multiple witnesses.
The social club served the driver the equivalent of 7 drinks in as little as 45 minutes to 1 3/4 hours. The reckless service by the club put her into a zone of danger regarding her ability to function in a reasonably sober manner. The actions/inactions of the club violated the accepted standards of care within the hospitality industry and created an unreasonably dangerous condition, which was a cause of the injury.
Michael J. McCabe, Jr., Ph.D., DABT, ATS
Dr. McCabe is an internationally-trained and nationally recognized scientist with both research and teaching experience. He has a broad-based background in toxicology with specialized expertise in mechanistic immunotoxicology and human health assessment. Dr. McCabe earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Microbiology and Immunology from Albany Medical College, NY, and completed post-doctorate training at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. He is an active member in many professional associations including the Society of Toxicology and has served on numerous national and international advisory committees for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Academy of Sciences, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the World Health Organization.
Dr. McCabe applies his expertise to issues involving exposures to agents such as metals, solvents, PCBs/dioxins, and pesticides; blood alcohol, recreational drugs and substance abuse; food allergies; dermal reactions; and cosmetic product liability. He has spent more than 24 years working in the field of toxicology studying the adverse effects of chemical, physical, and biological agents on living organisms.
Jeffrey P. Jannarone
Standard of Care
Jeff Jannarone is uniquely qualified to investigate matters pertaining to dram shop and liquor liability. As a Master Trainer in the Techniques of Alcohol Management (TAM) program, as well as a former Officer and Sergeant in the Rutgers University Police Department, Jeff has hands-on experience from every side of the issue. Jeff’s casework includes matters pertaining to the sale and service of alcohol as well as police practice and procedures.
Jeff is one of four master trainers in the Techniques of Alcohol Management (TAM) program. TAM is designed to gives business owners, managers and staff the training and education they need to be safe and responsible retailers of alcoholic beverages. Since 2000, Jeff has personally instructed more than 2,000 persons in the TAM program. Jeff has provided alcohol service training with various other organizations, including the National Restaurant Association, National Hospitality Institute, and the New Jersey Licensed Beverage Association. Jeff’s dram shop expertise extends to bars and taverns, private clubs, sporting events, concerts and other events and festivals.