On Wednesday the Alabama Supreme Court hearing arguments if a multi-million dollar judgment should be upheld against a Bessemer company.
In 2007 a minor purchased alcohol from a convenience store operated by Nineteenth Street Enterprises in Bessemer. The driver later crashed a vehicle killing a 13-year-old and injuring other minors.
Alabama justices heard arguments if the $13.5 million in punitive damages should stand or be reduced because of the fault of the plaintiff.
A plaintiff’s attorney at Hare Wynn said the justice ruling could dramatically impact punitive damage cases.
"Punitive damages are designed to punish and curb bad conduct. Our Alabama Dram Shop statute says if you sell alcohol to a minor, you pay. You not only pay for the harm you caused but you pay punitive damages," Ashley Peinhardt said.
The court is expected to issue a ruling at a later date.