High Court to Hear Case Against Bar

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The Mississippi Supreme Court has agreed to decide the liability of nightclubs and bars when a minor is furnished with alcohol. The issue was brought before the state's high court in a lawsuit recently reinstated by the state Court of Appeals.

Dexter Moore filed a lawsuit against The Library Bar and Grill in Oxford. Moore was injured on Feb. 27, 1999, when he was struck while crossing an Oxford street by a car driven by Katie Martin and occupied by Will Shappley and three other friends.

The nightclub appealed to the Supreme Court, which agreed last week to hear the case. According to the court record, while IDs of the five, all under the age of 21, were checked at the door, Shappley provided a fake identification that showed him over 21.

Records show Shappley then bought drinks for himself and others in the group although they were not to be served alcohol. Moore alleges that the Oxford bar had illegally sold the alcohol that Martin drank.

A Lafayette County judge ruled for the lounge in 2001, saying the bar was not liable because the alcohol consumed by driver of the car had been purchased for him by a person whose ID showed the buyer to be an adult.

The Appeals Court said if an ID card was presented that was acceptable under state law, then the seller was innocent of selling to underage drinkers.