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OFF BEAT: Beer pong player can't sue bar for injuries


A would-be beer pong champ has lost a court battle against the bar that served him alcohol before he was struck by a car.

Alan Berger was playing beer pong with friends at Wicked Willy’s in New York in June 2009.

The drinking game typically requires players to toss ping pong balls into an opposing player’s cup of beer. If the ball lands in a cup, the opposing player must drink the beer as quickly as possible.

According to court records, Wicked Willy’s has designated beer pong tables, but it does not monitor the beer consumption of game players. An attorney for Mr. Berger said his client was “winning” the game before he left the bar, the New York Daily News reported.

Mr. Berger, then 22 years old, was "extremely intoxicated" when he boarded a commuter bus to New Jersey that night, court records show. Hours later, he was hit by a vehicle while attempting to walk across a New Jersey highway.

Mr. Berger sued Wicked Willy’s for his injuries last year. He alleged that the bar was negligent in its failure to stop serving him alcohol, among other claims.

But the New York Supreme Court dismissed Mr. Berger's suit this month. Judge Lucy Billings said Wicked Willy's was not responsible for Mr. Berger's accident injuries, despite providing alcohol and supplies for beer pong.

"Plaintiff voluntarily engaged in the drinking game facilitated by defendant's furnishings and consumed alcohol to the point of diminished capacity," the ruling reads. "New York law recognizes no duty on defendant's part to warn patrons regarding the risks of engaging in the drinking activity defendant made available or to make it safer by stopping or monitoring its participants."

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