Dram shop suit initiated, alleges vendor sold deceased minors alcohol

David Yates Mar. 22, 2012, 8:49am

In February, the Southeast Texas Record reported that several area residents filed a petition to take depositions, believing a local business illegally sold alcohol to minors - teenagers who later died in an automobile collision.

The petition was filed by Kelly and James Bates, along with Kimberly Jones, Harold Brantley, Jack Smith and Dawn Fluts on Feb. 24 in Jefferson County District Court, seeking the deposition of Triangle Marketing corporate representative Hussain Ali Habib to investigate a potential dram shop suit against The County Store.

Court records show that the petition was re-filed as a lawsuit on March 16, naming only Jack Smith and Dawn Fluts as plaintiffs.

According to the new petition, on Sept. 17, 2011, The County Store allegedly sold minors identified as R.G. and B.S., both of whom were under 18, a large quantity of alcohol, which was a proximate cause of their intoxication and lethal car crash that followed.

The first petition alleges that the driver had a blood alcohol limit above the legal limit.

In their suit, the plaintiffs allege the defendants illegally provided alcohol to in violation of the law prohibiting the sale of alcohol to minors.

In addition to exemplary damages, the plaintiffs are suing for their pecuniary loss and mental anguish.

They are represented by Beaumont attorney Clay Dugas.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 6oth District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case Nos. B192-015 and B192-194

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