Buskey v. American Legion Post #270Annotate this Case
The “actual notice” provision of the Civil Damages Act, see Minn. Stat. 340A.802(2), popularly known as the Dram Shop Act, requires actual notice of sufficient facts to put a liquor licensee on inquiry notice of a possible claim, not actual notice of a possible claim. In addition, the statute’s plain language does not require notice of certain indispensable facts but, rather, requires notice only of “sufficient facts.” Lastly, actual notice to a licensee’s liquor-liability attorney is notice to the licensee under section 340A.802(2).
Appellants brought claims against Respondent, a liquor licensee, under the Civil Damages Act for damages arising out of the death of Mary Jo Meyer-Buskey in an automobile accident caused by a drunk driver. The district court granted summary judgment for Respondent, finding that Appellants failed to provide timely notice of their claims and that the correspondence of Appellants’ attorney with Respondent’s liquor-liability attorney did not qualify as “actual notice” under section 340A.802(2). The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court erred in granting summary judgment to Respondent.