Posted On: November 5, 2006 by Christopher T. Hurley

Rockford, Illinois death could lead to Illinois Dram Shop claim

A Rockford, Illinois man drove his car off the road and struck a tree early Saturday, killing his passenger. The driver, Antonio Mitchell, 24, was charged with negligent driving and aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, and was listed by the Rockford Register Star in critical condition at Rockford Memorial Hospital. The passenger, Kevin Thomas, 45, Poplar Grove, died at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center where he was taken after the 1:58 a.m. crash at Fairview Boulevard and Greenwood Avenue in Rockford.

The passenger’s family in this case would have a cause of action against the driver for negligence and willful and wanton conduct. The family may also have a claim for damages under the Illinois Dram Shop Act, 235 ILCS 5/6-21 against anyone, including a bar or restaurant, that sold or gave liquor to the driver, causing his intoxication at the time of the occurrence.

Dram Shop Act cases have a strict one year statute of limitations under the Illinois statute. If you have been injured by a drunk driver, you should consult legal counsel immediately.

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