Restaurants and Bars Can Be Held Liable for Intoxicated Patrons and Employees

A recent lawsuit has been filed against Rick’s Cabaret for the wrongful death of Katherine “Emily” Jones, a Conroe teen. Jones, a senior at Caney Creek High School, was killed by a drunk driver in a fatal car collision on March 30, 2011. According to the suit filed by Emily’s family, the bar’s company policy encourages and rewards workers for selling as many alcoholic beverages as possible. That policy, according the family, contributed to the death of Emily Jones.

Jones was driving her truck when she was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by Erasmo Ramirez, who was driving more than 130 mph without his headlights on prior to the collision. Ramirez is alleged to have been drinking at the bar that evening and was ultimately removed from the bar after refusing to pay for entertainment services. The lawsuit against the bar alleges that the employees of the bar continued to serve Ramirez long after he was intoxicated. According to investigators, Ramirez’s blood alcohol concentration was .295 following the collision, which is nearly four times the legal limit in Texas (.08). Ramirez was charged with intoxication manslaughter and was ultimately sentenced to fifteen years in prison for causing the death of Emily Jones.

Just Sunday, in Charleston, South Carolina, a million dollar settlement was disclosed for a similar incident. According to the Sacramento Bee, the parent company of Husk Restaurant will pay $1.1 million to the family of a man that was also killed in a drunk driving crash. Investigators reported that Adam Burnell, assistant manager of Husk Restaurant, left work and rear-ended a car driven by Quentin Miller. Miller died in the collision and Burnell’s blood alcohol concentration was .24.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident by a drunk driver, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling (713) 222-7211 or 713-222-7211.