Home > NewsRelease > Jury Awards $5.6 MM For Alcohol-Related Pool Party Injury
Jury Awards $5.6 MM For Alcohol-Related Pool Party Injury
Preston Rideout -- Dram Shop Expert Preston Rideout -- Dram Shop Expert
Orlando, FL
Friday, March 3, 2023


According to the Complaint, the Defendant, Retreat at Gainesville, LLC, hosted a St. Patrick's Day pool party and provided free alcohol at the Retreat on March 17, 2017. Promotional materials for the event encouraged attendees to bring their own beer and did not mention any age restrictions.

Upon arriving at the pool party, no one asked Massey for identification. Although underage, retreat employees welcomed him to the party by encouraging him to consume beer from unmanned kegs around the pool.

Witnesses testified that underage drinking was common at The Retreat Gainesville pool parties. Despite warnings to management by a community ambassador, nothing was done to control or monitor underage drinking during the pool parties. Testimony revealed employee focus was limited to prohibiting glass in the pool area rather than curtailing underage drinking.

Massey sued University Chevron, the Retreat at Gainesville, and Top Tier Entertainment. Ultimately, Top Tier Entertainment was let out of the case via summary judgment prior to trial.

Massey's counsel initially made a social host liability claim against the Retreat. However, the judge ruled the social host liability law did not apply because the pool area was not considered residential premises.

Massey's counsel argued that the Retreat provided alcohol to Massey, a minor, without checking for identification. Counsel argued the Retreat created an environment that encouraged guests to drink. To support this argument, counsel presented promotional materials and videos that the Retreat filmed during previous parties on the premises depicting wild free-for-alls.

Massey's counsel argued inadequate supervision was lacking at the party. Counsel claimed the retreat knew there were drunk people near the swimming pool and should have hired a lifeguard to patrol the area.

Massey's counsel retained Dram Shop Expert Preston Rideout to opine on pool party operations, responsible alcohol serviceintoxication identification, and risk management techniques to prevent alcohol-related pool party injuries.

The jury found University Chevron, Retreat at Gainesville, and Massey himself were all responsible for Massey's injuries assigning 20% liability to the Retreat, 30% to University Chevron, and 50% to Massey.

Preston Rideout is a highly sought-after Dram Shop Expert with 25 years of experience and 75 alcohol safety certifications.  He is the CEO of Rideout Hospitality and Founder of The Dram Shop Experts. Preston is widely considered the legal industry's leading nightclub management and bar operations expert. Attorneys across the nation rely upon his comprehensive knowledge of nightlife to provide powerful insight into all aspects of responsible alcohol service, bartender training, bottle service, intoxication identificationindustry-standard operations, and nightclub negligence.

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Name: Preston Rideout
Group: Dram Shop Experts
Dateline: Greenwood, MS United States
Direct Phone: 662-466-6045
Main Phone: 662-466-6045
Cell Phone: 662-466-6045
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