What is the status of the lawsuits brought by a South Bend bar owner against students carrying fake IDs who were cited in a raid at the bar?

Author: Notre Dame Magazine

The raid of The Boat Club on North Hill Street in January found more than 200 minors inside the bar, most of them Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students. The owners of the bar, which had a reputation for being soft on underage drinking, later sued the students for using fake IDs. The plaintiff argued that the minors were to blame for the business’s demise because they misrepresented themselves. The suit asked for damages of $3,000 per defendant.

In August a magistrate in the Saint Joseph County Superior Court granted the request of an attorney representing 40 of the students to dismiss the suits against his clients. The magistrate said other courts have held that bars are ultimately responsible for complying with liquor laws.

The bar owner is appealing that decision, and the magistrate has put off ruling on the other cases until next April. That will give the appeals court time to study the decision that dismissed the suits against the first 40.

(Autumn 2003)