By ruling the estate of an underage drunk driver is not liable for the death of one of her passengers who left behind a young son, the North Carolina Court of Appeals has rejected an argument to expand the scope of the state’s Dram Shop Act. The decision of first impression arises from a single-vehicle crash that killed the driver and her two passengers in Carolina Beach in 2008. The young son of one passenger sued the bar that served the 20-year-old driver the night of the wreck. The boy’s suit, brought on his behalf by a guardian ad litem, sought compensation under the state’s Dram Shop Act for his father’s death. The statute holds businesses that serve alcohol liable to anyone who is injured by a drunken patron.
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