Murray v. Frick, et al., Pa. Civil No. 2021-C-1254 (C.P. Lehigh May 2, 2022) (Caffrey, J.) There is no Pennsylvania appellate decision addressing the precise issue of whether § 4-497 of the Dram Shop Act preempts a common law negligence claim against a licensee, and there is disagreement among the Common Pleas Courts on this issue. The Superior Court has clearly described the section as liability-limiting. It is clearly a provision designed specifically to shield licensees, except in those instances where a patron served was visibly intoxicated. Certain Pennsylvania trial courts have determined that the affect of this section is to limit the liability of licensees to third persons to the sale of alcohol to visibly intoxicated persons. The court finds the reasoning employed by these common courts persuasive in view of how the Pennsylvania Superior Court has described the purpose and intent of § 4-497. The section is limiting in that it protects the licensee from liability to third parties unless the patron was visibly intoxicated. It operates to preempt the common law negligence action against the licensee. Therefore, these common law sections of the complaint will be stricken.
DRAM SHOP ACT-PREEMPTION OF NEGLIGENCE CLAIM
September 26th, 2022 by Rieders Travis in Negligence