Case Brief: Lumpkin v. Mellow Mushroom
Case Name, Citation & Court:
Lumpkin v. Mellow Mushroom, 256 Ga. App. 83, 567 S.E.2d 728, Court of Appeals of Georgia, decided 2002. Parties & Procedural History:
Trial Court Level: Plaintiff Lumpkin sues Defendant Mellow Mushroom. Defendant filed summary judgment motion, and court granted judgment in favor of Defendant. Plaintiff appealed. First Appeal: Ga. Court of Appeals affirmed judgment for Defendant. Facts:
Mellow Mushroom is an establishment that is known for serving beer to underage patrons. On June 7, 2000, Christian sat at Mellow Mushroom’s bar and drank an undisclosed amount of beer. Several witnesses who had seen him that night reported that Christian Lumpkin did not appear to be drunk while others stated that he might have been “mildly” intoxicated. Lumpkin left Mellow Mushroom at approximately 12:30 a.m. and drove to Seth Calloway’s house. Once there, Lumpkin and Calloway decided to buy some beer and visit another friend. They went to the store in Calloway’s Jeep, which does not have a passenger side door. Calloway drove while Lumpkin sat on the passenger seat. During the drive to their friend’s house, Lumpkin unbuckled his seat belt and began hanging out of the Jeep. At some point, Lumpkin lost his grip and fell out of the car. He was taken to the hospital and later died from his injuries. Lumpkin’s parents are suing Mellow Mushroom. Plaintiff’s Cause of Action:
The issue is whether an establishment, which serves alcohol to underage patrons, is liable for injuries or damages resulting from the intoxication of the underage patron. Defendant’s Argument:
Mellow Mushroom is not responsible for the injury and death caused by the intoxication of the underage patron. The Lumpkins cannot prove that Mellow Mushroom’s breach proximately caused Christian Lumpkin’s death. The common law rule creates no cause of action...