Where plaintiff created issues of genuine material fact regarding the potential liability of various defendants in the death of his minor son, who was killed while drinking and driving, summary judgment for most defendants was reversed. Further, the Court of Appeals found that the question of whether the decedent was “at least 50% at fault for comparative fault purposes [was] a question not properly resolvable at this summary judgment stage under the facts of this case.”
In Benbow v. L&S Family Entertainment, LLC, No. M2022-00491-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. July 12, 2023), plaintiff brought suit after his minor son, who was 20-years-old, died while drinking and driving. Plaintiff asserted that various defendants were negligent in the course of the evening that decedent died.
Decedent was out with a friend on the night he died, and that friend was 21-years-old. Plaintiff presented evidence that at defendant restaurant the server carded the friend but not decedent, and then brought a pitcher of beer and two cups to the table; that decedent and his friend appeared intoxicated when they arrived at defendant bowling alley; that a worker at defendant bowling alley carded the friend but not decedent, yet provided a pitcher of beer and two cups; that decedent and his friend went to a bar after the bowling alley, and that at that bar decedent’s debit card was used to buy drinks; that the friend’s mother came to the bar and that video evidence showed her possibly buying drinks that were then given to decedent; that the mother helped decedent into a car to be driven home; that decedent and the friend ended up going to the friend’s house; and that the friend and his father got into an argument, whereupon decedent drove himself away from the house and got into the fatal accident.