Vendor Settles Lawsuit by Girl Paralyzed by New Jersey Drunk Driver

A New York Giants concessions vendor has paid $26 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the parents of a girl who was paralyzed following a 1999 auto accident. According to the complaint, employees of Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp. continued to serve beer to the man responsible for the accident despite the fact that he was visibly intoxicated.  The amount of the settlement had been sealed until Wednesday, when a state appellate court overturned a lower court’s decision and allowed it to be released.  The panel’s decision brings an end to the lawsuit filed by the family of a Cliffside Park girl, who was paralyzed from the neck down as a 2-year-old in 1999.

The family sued Aramark, the stadium’s concessionaire, claiming that employees continued to serve beer to the Defendant Driver of Cresskill, New Jersey after he was visibly intoxicated and slurring his speech. The Defendant Driver was judged to have a blood alcohol level of 0.226, more than twice the legal limit at the time, after the accident.  A Bergen County jury awarded the family $105 million in 2005, but that ruling was reversed on appeal the following year. The parties reached a settlement last year before the case went back to court, but the agreement was sealed.  According to Wednesday’s decision, the little girl, now 11, and her mother, sought to keep the settlement private.  The family had previously settled lawsuits against the Giants and the NFL.   Read Article by David Porter, Philadelphia Inquirer  12/03/2008

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