Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc

Court Says Oklahoma Tribe Immune from Dramshop Liability Lawsuit

 Wednesday, October 30, 2013

 Insurance Journal

The Oklahoma Supreme Court, reversing a previous ruling, says a family injured in a 2006 auto accident cannot sue the Peoria Tribe or its Buffalo Run Casino, where the other driver in the crash had been drinking. The court’s 5-4 ruling on Sept. 24 dismissed the claim by Jennifer and Charles Sheffer, who alleged the casino overserved David Billups. Billups was killed when his car collided with the Sheffers’ tractor-trailer. The Sheffers and their son were injured. "The Peoria Tribe is immune from suit in state court,” the decision states. “Because the Peoria tribe and its entities did not expressly waive their sovereign immunity by applying for and receiving a liquor license from the State of Oklahoma, the tribe is immune from dramshop liability in state court.” Under Oklahoma law, sellers of alcohol have dramshop liability, which means they could be liable if someone they sell alcohol to hurts someone else.
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