Whiskey River sued for allegedly serving drunk driver

Kelly Holleran Apr. 19, 2011, 11:07am

A Jefferson County woman has filed suit against the driver she claims was intoxicated and the bar that allegedly served him alcoholic beverages.

Laretta Hill claims she was riding in a vehicle driven by defendant Karlon Travis Bowen eastbound on Interstate 10 when Bowen took the exit ramp at milepost 856 and struck the concrete crash pad.

At the time of the collision, Karlon Bowen was driving a vehicle belonging to Kandace Bowen, according to the complaint filed April 8 in Jefferson County District Court.

Mid-County Venture and Whiskey River are also named as defendants because they allegedly sold intoxicating beverages to Karlon Bowen before the collision, the complaint says.

Because of the accident, Hill claims she sustained injuries, physical impairment, disfigurement, extreme physical and mental pain and suffering and anguish, the suit states. In addition, she incurred medical costs, the complaint says.

Hill blames Karlon Bowen for causing the collision, saying he negligently failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to turn his vehicle to avoid a collision, failed to heed warnings, failed to proceed only when it was safe to do so, failed to control his speed and drove under the influence of alcohol.

In addition, Kandace Bowen is named as a defendant because she owned the white 2001 Ford F-150 pickup truck Karlon Bowen was driving, according to the complaint.

"Defendant, Kandace Bowen, knew or in the exercise of due care, should have known, that the operator was an incompetent and unfit driver and would create an unreasonable risk of danger to persons and property on the public streets and highways of Texas," the suit states.

In her complaint, Hill seeks a judgment within the jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, plus post-judgment interest at the highest rate, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Brian D. Sutton and Stephanie H. Harris of Sutton and Jacobs in Beaumont will be representing her.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

Case No. D189-736

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