BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The family of a teenager who was struck and killed by a vehicle in front of the Pelham, Alabama Hooters Restaurant has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Hooters, to hold the restaurant owners and operators accountable for the series of liquor law violations that led to the teen’s death.
Ryan Rohr was struck by a vehicle and killed just moments after leaving the Pelham Hooters on Highway 119 with friends on May 25, 2016.
According to the suit filed in Circuit Court in Shelby County, Alabama (Case Number 58- CV -2016-900703.00), servers at Hooters never asked Ryan to show an ID when he ordered alcohol, which he consumed with co-workers during a two to three-hour visit at the restaurant. The suit claims servers continued to provide him alcohol even after he became visibly intoxicated.
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Ryan, a resident of Bartow County, Georgia, had traveled to Alabama to work on a construction project and had been staying at a hotel across the street from Hooters. He was trying to return to the hotel when he was struck. According to the lawsuit, another minor in the group was also illegally served alcoholic beverages during the trip to Hooters.
“This case highlights what happens when a company breaks the law and sells alcohol to a minor. In this case, when Hooters broke the law, a young man died,” said Cory Watson attorney Douglas A. Dellaccio, who represents Ryan’s parents, who filed the suit.
Dellaccio says the medical examiner’s report revealed Ryan had a blood alcohol content of .24 at the time of his death, which is three times the legal limit for an adult. Any blood alcohol content above 0 is considered illegal for a minor.
“Teenagers are especially vulnerable. Hooters knows that. Alabama law clearly holds establishments accountable for upholding the laws governing the sale and service of alcoholic beverages,” said Dellaccio. “Hooters broke the law by serving Ryan alcohol and by continuing to serve him alcohol, even after he passed the point of obvious intoxication. Ryan died as a result, and we are holding them accountable for his death. Those who sell and serve alcohol bear full responsibility for their actions.”
The suit charges that as a “proximate result of the negligent, wanton, willful and/or wrongful conduct of the Defendants in serving alcoholic beverages to Ryan Joseph Rohr, who was under the age of 21 years, Ryan Joseph Rohr became grossly intoxicated and was killed.”
The wrongful death suit seeks unspecified punitive damages from defendants Hooters of Pelham, LLC, and Hooters of America, LLC. A server at the restaurant is also named in the suit.
The suit is brought under Alabama’s Dram Shop Laws and under the Civil Damages Act.
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Cory Watson Attorneys is a personal injury law firm based in Birmingham, Alabama. The firm is nationally recognized for its practice areas of complex litigation including class actions, pharmaceutical drug litigation, defective medical device litigation, product liability litigation, business and securities litigation, environmental litigation, multidistrict litigation, and mass torts. Cory Watson Attorneys has extensive practice in individual personal injury and wrongful death cases.