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A Texas man was awarded $5.5 million late last month as part of his lawsuit against a restaurant, claiming the establishment overserved him alcohol, which contributed to the injuries he sustained during an altercation with a fellow patron later that night, Houston Chronicle reports.
Daniel Rawls filed a lawsuit in May, accusing La Fogata Mexican Grill, owner Lourdes Galindo, and an unknown bartender of premises liability, negligence, and damages arising from foreseeable criminal conduct. The suit stems from a May 2019 incident where Rawls had been drinking heavily at La Fogata before leaving and getting into a dispute with Robert Henrickson, who had also been drinking in excess at the restaurant, in the parking lot.
Rawls alleges “an uneven parking lot” caused him to fall, and accuses Galindo of failing to keep it clear of anything “that would pose a tripping or falling hazard to intoxicated patrons.” He also claims negligence on behalf of La Fogata for not calling an ambulance when he sustained a “serious and debilitating” head injury after falling, as well as his altercation with Henrickson.
Rawls claims Galindo didn’t sufficiently train the unknown bartender to determine when a customer had enough to drink and shouldn’t be served anymore. The Houston Chronicle notes that Rawls has been arrested twice, in May and February 2019, on a public intoxication charge.
The court’s ruling in Rawls’ favor was part of a default judgment, which meant that Galindo didn’t respond or appear in court.
La Fogata has 30 days to file an appeal for a new trial.