TGI Fridays is being held responsible for the death of a man at a Riverside, Calif. location — to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. According to Insurance Journal, the family of 33-year-old Orlando Jordan, who was stabbed to death in 2009 by an underage drinker, has been awarded $40 million by a Southern California jury.
Jordan was reportedly "dating the mother of Michael Castillo, who disapproved. He was stabbed during an argument with Castillo, who entered the restaurant with a friend." CBS Los Angeles writes, "The heart of the family’s argument was that their son’s killer was served alcohol at the TGI Friday’s before Orlando was stabbed to death." Despite being under the legal drinking age at 20 years old, Castillo was reportedly served "the equivalent of 12 alcohol servings in 30 minutes," says Insurance Journal, and restaurant staff never checked his ID.
The owner of the franchise, New Jersey-based Briad Group, has been found "55 percent responsible" for the incident, meaning it'll have to pay more than half of the judgment amount. Castillo and his friend Louis Martinez are being held liable for the other 45 percent; both pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and have been sentenced to three and four years in prison, respectively.
"This case is about holding corporations responsible for their reckless decisions to value profits over community safety," a lawyer for the Jordan family said in a statement. "A pattern of assaults at the restaurant and a lack of security cameras" were also cited in the suit.
The U.S. isn't the only country to hold restaurants or their servers responsible when over-serving alcohol goes wrong: Last month a French bartender was charged with manslaughter after he served a man 56 shots, resulting in the man's subsequent death.