A Texas man has managed to win a $5.5 million lawsuit that stated the injuries he suffered as a result of a drunken fight were the fault of the bar he'd gotten sloshed at.
Most of us tend to realise - often with the hindsight of a hangover and a lot of regret - that most of our drunken mistakes are ours to own, and if we've managed to get so smashed that we've done something a bit daft, it's probably no one else's fault.
However, Daniel Rawls has emerged with a different story.
On May 21, 2019, he had been getting merry at a restaurant and bar called La Fogata. As can happen on a bender, he found himself in an altercation with another customer, Robert Henrickson, in the parking lot of the restaurant.
According to the lawsuit, as reported by the Houston Chronicle, Rawls - from Andrews in Texas- received a 'serious and debilitating' head injury as a result of the scuffle and the apparently uneven surface in the car park outside the premises.
The lawsuit states that La Fogata, its owner Lourdes Galindo and an unknown bartender are responsible for the injury because they allowed the two men to drink excessively and leave the restaurant together.
The suit goes on to say that the restaurant was also negligent by not calling an ambulance after Rawls was injured.
The bartender, identified in the suit as John and/or Jane Doe, was allegedly not adequately trained by Galindo to detect that Rawls and Henrickson were too drunk.
It was also claimed that the owner of the restaurant had failed to ensure the parking lot didn't include obstacles 'that would pose a tripping or falling hazard to intoxicated patrons'.
Rawls is alleged to have a history of excessive drinking, with Andrews' jail records showing that he has been arrested twice, in February 2019 and May of this year, on charges of public intoxication.
However, that past doesn't seem to have affected the ruling here and Rawls has walked out with a figure in excess of $5 million after the Judge sided with the prosecution.
He was awarded the money for five claims, including premises liability, negligence and damages arising from foreseeable criminal conduct.
The Andrews County 109th District Court ruled in Rawls' favour in a default judgment, meaning the owner of La Fogata did not respond to the suit or attend the hearing.
The court did not rule on whether Rawls' claims were true.
La Fogata has 30 days to file a notice of appeal if its owner intends to seek a new trial, according to the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure.
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