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Attorney Eric Kahn settled $4.65M in drunk driving and dram shop claims

Javerbaum Wurgaft in Top 20 for Personal Injury Award

Personal Injury Attorney Eric Kahn 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.

Attorney Eric Kahn settled $4.65M in drunk driving and dram shop claims

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]

dram shop law explained

Javerbaum Wurgaft Attorneys Answer the Call for Victims of Drunk Driving

By JW Law
Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents are a fact of life, and at times cause catastrophic, life-altering injuries or death to their victims. What is particularly troublesome is when an accident is caused by a drunk driver. It is easy to blame a drunk driver, but we need to remember how those drivers became drunk. In many situations, the drivers were served alcohol at a party, or at a bar or restaurant, and were allowed to leave when someone knew or should have known that they were drunk. In those situations, a claim can be made under our law against the bar or social host who was responsible for allowing the driver to become intoxicated and then drive.

Recently, attorneys at Javerbaum Wurgaft have been successful in holding bars and restaurants responsible under New Jersey’s “dram shop” laws. Francisco Rodriguez, a partner in the Jersey City office of Javerbaum Wurgaft, successfully settled a case on behalf of a family who lost a 21-year-old at the hands of a drunk driver for $1.35 million dollars against both the driver and a Hudson County bar. Frank said “no matter how much money is received it will not give the family back their son and brother, however, society must enforce the rules about drinking and driving for the safety of others.”

dram shop law explained

Frank’s settlement comes on the heels of Eric Kahn’s settlement of a case for $3.1 million dollars against a drunk driver as well as the restaurant where he was drinking immediately before the accident occurred. Mr, Kahn, the managing partner at Javerbaum Wurgaft working primarily out of its Springfield office, said “while my client will never 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 in 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.”
In order to make our roads and highways safer for everyone, people who serve alcohol must be held accountable when serving alcohol for profit. If you or a loved one has been injured at the hands of a drunk driver, or someone you suspected was drinking, call Javerbaum Wurgaft and talk to a lawyer familiar with the law who can help you.