Second dram shop suit filed over minors' deaths, plaintiff seeks to consolidate

David Yates Mar. 30, 2012, 7:56am


Another plaintiff has filed a dram shop claim against Triangle Marketing.

The Southeast Texas Record reported in February 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 original 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.

The Dram Shop Act makes a business that sells alcoholic drinks or a host who serves liquor to a drinker who is obviously intoxicated strictly liable to anyone injured by the drunken patron or guest.

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

On March 26 a second petition over the incident was filed by Clinton Lloyd.

In his suit, Lloyd asks that the court consolidate the claims into the original filing (Case No. B192-015).

The petitions allege that on Sept. 17, 2011, The County Store allegedly sold several minors a large quantity of alcohol, which was a proximate cause of their intoxication and lethal car crash that followed.

All 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.

Lloyd is represented by Provost Umphrey attorney Larry Hunter of Beaumont.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court, is assigned to all three cases.

Case Nos. B192-015, B192-194 and B192-225

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