The state Supreme Court has thrown out a law making it hard to sue a liquor establishment for injuries caused by people who leave the places drunk and then hurt somebody. The law says suits only can be filed if the owner of the place has been convicted of serving a drunk person. But the court says that violates the constitutional guarantee that the courts are open to everybody. The court says the prosecutor’s refusal to file a criminal charge against a St. Charles bar owner kept the family of a man killed by a drunk driver from filing a civil suit–and that’s a violation of the separation of powers. The driver in the case was convicted of manslaughter. Now the family can sue the bar where he drank.
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