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Conflict of Laws Keyed to Brilmayer
Bernhard v. Harrah’s Club
Citation:16 Cal. 3d 313, 546 P.2d 719, 128 Cal. Rptr. 215 (1976)
Defendant, Harrah’s Club (Harrah’s), was a Nevada corporation that owned and operated gambling establishments in Nevada. At these establishments, Harrah’s sold liquor. Defendant advertised its establishments in California, knowing that California residents would use the public highways going to and from Harrah’s.
In response to Harrah’s advertisements, Fern and Philip Myers drove from their California residence to Harrah’s in Nevada. They stayed at Harrah’s from July 24 to July 25, 1971. During their stay, the Myers were served alcoholic beverages by Harrah’s employees until they were intoxicated and incapable of safely driving a car. The Myers drove back to California while still intoxicated. While driving in California, Fern drifted across the center line into oncoming traffic and collided with Plaintiff, Richard A. Bernhard, a resident of California who was driving a motorcycle. Richard suffered severe injuries as a result of the collision.
Richard brought suit against Harrah’s in California for negligence, arguing that Harrah’s continuing to serve alcohol to the Myers was the proximate cause of his injuries. Harrah’s argued that Nevada law should apply because under Nevada law, tavern owners do not bear civil liability for injuries caused by intoxicated patrons. The trial court found in favor of Harrah’s. Richard appealed.
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