Wyoming Supreme Court rules for bar owners

Local Court News Posted on

The Wyoming Supreme Court has ruled that state law protects bar owners from lawsuits arising from the actions of their intoxicated patrons.

In a split decision Friday, the court upheld a lower court ruling against relatives of a Ten Sleep couple who died in a head-on crash in 2008. The couple's relatives had sued the owners of two Big Horn County saloons claiming they continued to serve the driver who plowed into the couple after he was drunk.

The court majority ruled state law from the 1980s holds bar owners can't be held liable for their patrons' actions.

Chief Justice Marilyn S. Kite and Justice William Hill filed a dissenting opinion saying they would allow lawsuits against bar owners if they violated local ordinances against serving alcohol to intoxicated persons.

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