Underage drinker sues bar after deadly car crash

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Dec. 16, 2009, 1:11pm

TEXARKANA, Ark. – After several hours of drinking at a local bar, two underage and highly intoxicated Texarkana residents decided to drive. On a curve, the driver lost control of the vehicle and it left the road and began to flip. The car hit a telephone pole and came to rest upside down.

The driver was ejected and died from his injuries. The passenger, Daniel Allen, was seriously injured.

Allen believes the bar is responsible for the vehicle accident and has filed a lawsuit against Shooters Sports Bar; John Coker, the alcohol permit holder; Collins Ferguson, the manager; and John Doe on Nov. 24 in the Circuit Court of Miller County, Ark.

The accident occurred early on the morning of Nov. 21, 2008, but it was several hours before the car wreck was noticed and first responders arrived on scene.

The plaintiff alleges that the defendants were negligent for serving him alcohol despite the fact he was already highly intoxicated, failing to "use reasonable care to protect the public from reasonably foreseeable injury," for allowing the plaintiff to leave the bar while highly intoxicated and for serving underage patrons.

Further, the plaintiff states the defendants failed to use reasonable discretion regarding the care of its patrons who were visibly intoxicated.

Allen argues that the bar had a duty to properly hire, train, supervise and retain employee bartenders to protect him from a reasonably foreseeable injury.

He states that bar is negligent for failing to take appropriate action to eject undesirable characters from the premises; permitting irresponsible, vicious or drunken people in the bar; failing to maintain order and sobriety; and failing to protect the public from highly intoxicated patrons.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for loss of earnings and earning capacity, mental anguish, pain and suffering, medical expenses and visible scarring and disfigurement.

Seeking exemplary damages, Allen states that the defendants' conduct was in reckless disregard for the consequences.

Arkadelphia attorney Alan J. LeVar of the law firm Taylor A. King and Associates PA is representing the plaintiff.

Jury trial is requested.

Miller County Circuit Judge Kelvin Wyrick is assigned to the litigation.

Case No 2009-385-2

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