|Bounced out of Court|
|Wednesday, February 29 2012|
A judge in a New York City court has thrown out a lawsuit filed by a New Jersey man who got so drunk playing Beer Pong that he walked across a busy highway and was struck by a car.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lucy Billings threw out Alan Berger's lawsuit against Greenwich Village's Wicked Willy's, finding Berger signed up for the beer-drinking game of his own free will. The object of the game is to bounce a ping pong ball into another player's cup and get them to drink.
“Despite the game tables, cups and alcohol [that the] defendant bar made available to plaintiff and other bar patrons without serving the alcohol or monitoring its consumption, plaintiff voluntarily engaged in the drinking game” and “consumed alcohol to the point of diminished capacity,” Billings wrote.
Berger's suit charged that the bar should have monitored the game to make sure players weren't getting visibly drunk. According to news reports, Berger engaged in a heated 3 1/2-hour match with friends playing the game, eventually left the bar, took a bus back to New Jersey and was still so drunk he tried to cross a highway and got hit by a car going 50 miles an hour.
Berger suffered numerous injuries, including a broken hip, leg and foot, tears in both his knees, and a lacerated liver, the lawyer said. When his blood was checked at the hospital about four hours after he left the bar, his blood alcohol content was .26 — almost four times higher than the legal driving limit.
The suit sought to hold the bar accountable for having “organized, created, designed and set up” the Beer Pong area in the back of the bar, and then failing to monitor it. It asked for unspecified money damages for his “severe shock, pain and mental anguish.”
Justice Billings, however, found that Beer Pong players are playing at their own risk. She found the bar had “no duty” to “warn patrons regarding the risks of engaging in the drinking activity” or “monitoring its participants.”