Recognized for $4.65 Million Combined Settlement in Drunk Driving and Dram Shop Claims
By JW Law
Eric Kahn, the managing partner at Javerbaum Wurgaft, was recently recognized in the August 28, 2017 edition of the New Jersey Law Journal for obtaining one of the top 20 personal injury recoveries in New Jersey in 2017.
Each year, the American Lawyer Media’s New Jersey Law Journal ranks the top 20 personal injury recoveries in a special edition of its publication. With a combined total settlement of $4.65 million, the award achieved by Mr. Kahn ranked 11th overall as the largest in the State.
The case, Tulli v. Feist, involved a head-on collision caused by a drunk driver. Mr. Kahn and Javerbaum Wurgaft have a long history of successfully holding drivers, bars, and restaurants responsible in dram shop and drunk driving cases.
Mr. Kahn represented Deborah Tulli, one of three victims involved in the June 4, 2013 crash. On that date, after being served while intoxicated at Ciro’s Ristorante Italiano in Monroe Township, Ernest Feist, driving over 100 mph on Hoffman Station Road, struck Ms. Tulli head-on causing her tocollide with a third vehicle. As a result of the forceful collision, Ms. Tulli suffered multiple fractures and underwent several surgeries.
The passenger in Mr. Feist’s vehicle and the driver of the third vehicle were also injured as a result of the crash. At the time of the collision, Mr. Feist had a blood-alcohol concentration of .204, more than twice the legal limit of .08 for operating a vehicle. Mr. Feist was driving a vehicle registered to his business, Feist Engineering.
Suits by Ms. Tulli and the other two plaintiffs were consolidated and the subject of two settlement conferences before Superior Court Judge Jessica Mayer in Middlesex County. On Nov. 4, 2016, the case settled for $4.65 million, with $3.9 million paid by insurance carriers for Mr. Feist and Feist Engineering, and another $750,000 paid by the carrier for Ciro’s Ristorante Italiano.
“While my client will never fully recover from her injuries, it was important to hold both the drunk driver responsible as well as the restaurant that over-served him on the afternoon of the accident. Our dram shop laws are designed not only to compensate victims of accidents involving drunk drivers but also to act as a deterrent to establishments that are more concerned about profits from selling alcohol rather than the safety of others,” said Mr. Kahn.
Tulli received $3.1 million under the settlement.
Javerbaum Wurgaft was also recognized in the special edition of the Law Journal for the firm’s $2.7 million settlement in a products liability case. David Wikstrom, a partner at Javerbaum Wurgaft, represented the plaintiff, Tulio Martinez-Carassco, who lost his arm while cleaning food preparation equipment at a sausage plant in 2013.
[Read Related: Javerbaum Wurgaft Attorneys Answer the Call for Victims of Drunk Driving]