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Man Sues Portland Hotel for Serving 17-Year-Old Driver after Skull Fracture

Date: July 2, 2012
Location: Interchange between Interstate 84 West and Interstate 5 South
Name: Jaba Mebrat

The man who sustained fractured skull and other injuries in a 2012 accident near Portland is suing a Portland hotel for serving alcohol to the 17-year-old driver.

According to suit filed in Multnomah County Court, Jaba Mebrat had attended a wedding at the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel on July 1, 2012, along with 17-year-old Beka Dekebo. The suit says the hotel employees served Dekebo alcohol without checking his ID and also placed moonshine on the table enabling Dekebo to drink that as well. When Mebrat was asleep on the passenger seat of the car, Dekebo got in and drove it. Dekebo crashed into another car near the Interstate 84 West and Interstate 5 South interchange. Mebrat sustained a fractured skull and other injuries and is now suing the hotel for $450,000 for medical expenses, $50,000 in lost wages, and $475,000 for pain and suffering.

He is also suing Jeffrey Andre Walker, the other driver, claiming he was intoxicated at the time of the accident and speeding. Charges against Dekebo were dismissed and Mebrat is not suing him.

We extend our sympathies to the injured man and hope he recovers completely.

Our best wishes go out to Mebrat; we wish you a speedy and full recovery.

Drunken driving accidents are tragedies that affect not only the victim, but often the victim’s family and friends as well. These cases are also legally complex and can face very strict time limits (as little as 180 days).

If you have been a victim of a drunk driving accident, you may be able to get compensation in a few ways:

  1. You may be able to file a claim with the auto insurance of the at-fault driver.
  2. You may be able to file a claim with your own insurance (if their insurance does not cover all your damages, it was a hit-and-run crash, or they do not have insurance).
  3. You may be able to file a claim against the establishment or person that supplied the alcohol to the drunk driver through a Dram Shop Notice.

A Dram Shop Notice allows you to hold responsible whoever served and continued to serve alcohol to the drunk driver after they were visibly intoxicated, or whoever served alcohol to someone who is underage. This could be a bar, nightclub, restaurant, or whoever supplied the alcohol.

These establishments are required to properly train and incentivize their employees to act in accordance with the OLCC’s guidelines regarding intoxicated drinkers. They should not be allowed to do otherwise. A Dram Shop Notice is a special letter that tells the establishment that they are being held accountable for failing to follow these guidelines.

But if the proper establishment does not receive the Dram Shop Notice within 180 days, the claim may be forever lost. This very tight time limit destroys many otherwise valid claims. Let an Oregon injury attorney who is familiar with the law regarding drunk driving accidents help you through this difficult time, and get you on your way to recovery.

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