Bar owner on trial after man dies downing 56 shotsBy Melita Kiely
A French bar owner is on trial for “manslaughter through wilful neglect” after serving a customer who later died 56 shots of spirits.
The bar, called Le Starter and situated in Clermont-Ferrond, served a 57-year-old patron named Renaud approximately a litre of spirits last October as he attempted to break the existing bar record of 55 shots consumed in one evening.
Renaud’s record attempt included downing 30 shots in one minute either neat or mixed.
He later went into cardiac arrest after being carried home and was taken to hospital, but died the following day.
The bar owner stood trial on Monday and the French criminal court must determine whether the owner was partially responsible for Renaud’s death.
Renaud’s daughter, who was with him in the bar, alleges the landlord of the bar encouraged her father to continue drinking and said “only 12 more to go” at one point during his attempt.
“The owner served the father of my client when he was not in a fit state to understand what he was doing,” her lawyer Antoine Portal told BFM TV as reported by the Telegraph.
“It is not known whether he would still be alive if he had not drunk the last 12 shots, but by downing those last shots, he was left with no chance.
“It was a case of inciting someone to consume. That’s an extremely serious mistake for a bar owner.”
However, the defendant’s lawyer, Renaud Portejoie, claims he urged Renaud to stop drinking and abandon the record attempt.
He agreed writing the existing record on a black board was “a mistake”, but said “no one forced the client to take on the challenge”.
“When you are the owner of a bar and an order has been placed, you cannot always check who is drinking what. We cannot stand behind every customer,” Portejoie told RMC radio.
“The customers are responsible for themselves as are their families and friends.”