In the case of Neal v. IAB Financial Bank, f/k/a Grabill Bank, Biddle had driven into the Bank’s parking lot on September 27,2012 because he had a flat tire. The bank employees suggested that he move his car into the farthest teller lane to make it easier to change the tire. During their conversation, they suspected that Biddle was intoxicated and called 911 after he left to report their suspicions. Biddle was later involved in a car accident that injured Neal. Neal later sued the Bank, arguing that she would not have been involved in the car accident if they did not negligently help Biddle change his tire. The Bank filed a motion for summary judgment which was granted.
The trial court held that a party cannot be held liable for a drunk driver causing injuries to a third party unless they gave them alcohol, had control of the vehicle, or had a special relationship with the other parties.
On appeal, Neal tried to argue that the Bank had assumed a duty when its employees helped the intoxicated Biddle change his tire. The Indiana Court of Appeals discussed how in the context of drunk drivers that courts have held that there is no duty to prevent an intoxicated driver from driving which is different than assisting the drunk person in driving. The Court determined that the bank employees were not in a superior position to protect Biddle, nor did they have any right or duty to control his actions. Because the Court held that there was no special relationship between the employees and Biddle, the Court upheld the decision of the trial court.
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