If an 18-year old drinks himself to death in a bar, the bar should be sued. If a 21-year old drinks himself to death, the bar owner should not be sued, but such a lawsuit against the bar owner wouldn't be outrageous. When a 31-year-old woman, while at a bar with her mom and sister, drinks herself to death, the bar owner should not be sued. And he certainly shouldn't go to prison. There's something rotten in Kansas. (Via CrimLaw). UPDATE: Doug Berman says that reading "the full story makes the prosecution seem less outrageous," so please read the full story.
The 31-year-old woman played a drinking game while at a bar with her mother and sister. When he went home, she died of alcohol poisoning. Prosecutors charged the bar owner with involuntary manslaughter, and he was convicted at trial. Here's the best line from the story:
Goodpasture's mother, Bev Brown, said Scott deserved punishment. "A lot of us are at fault, including myself," said Goodpasture's mother, Bev Brown. "But he took a life and I think he should be punished for it."
Let's talk about moral duties (putting aside that the decedent was 31-years old). Who has a greater moral duty to the 31-year old woman - her mother, or the bartender? Mom "let" her adult daughter drink herself to death, and she blames the bar owner. Unbelievable.