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Case Details for Luo Busi 301


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This series of videos shows oral argument in the case of White v. Gibbs in which Mrs. Debbie White has sued Patrick Gibbs and O’Malley’s Tavern under the civil provisions of Indiana’s Dram Shop Act, Indiana Code 7.1-5-10-15.5. Because the parties reside in two different states, the suit was brought in diversity in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, but will be decided under Indiana state law. The defendants have made a motion for summary judgment, seeking judgment as a matter of law in their favor. Mrs. White has responded that summary judgment should not be granted, and that the case should go to trial. Because the argument is being heard on the defendants’ motion, the defendants’ counsel argues first.
The lawsuit arose from an incident when Mrs. White and her husband, Bruno, were having dinner at O’Malley’s Tavern. Mr. Edward Hard, another patron at the tavern that evening and a former paramour of Mrs. White, had a large amount to drink. When Mrs. White and her husband left the tavern, Mr. Hard stumbled out behind them, got in his van, chased the Whites’ car out of the parking lot, and, within approximately half a mile, drove into the side of the Whites’ car, killing Mr. White and injuring Mrs. White. You will hear additional facts as they are argued on the various points of law.
Under Indiana law, in order for Mrs. White to recover damages from the defendants, she must prove:

- The tavern (through Mr. Gibbs, the bartender) had actual knowledge that Mr. Hard was visibly intoxicated when serving Mr. Hard his final drink.
- The tavern serving Mr. Hard was the proximate cause of the crash and Mr. White’s death. This chain of causation can be broken (interrupted) by a criminal act on the part of Mr. Hard.

In a real-life trial court, this type of argument would be presented to one trial court judge. Here, a panel of

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