Dismissed: Suit accusing homeowner of allowing intoxicated guest to drown

David Yates Jun. 3, 2013, 3:45pm

A woman accused of allowing an intoxicated man to drown in her pond has been dismissed from the lawsuit against her. 

Nearly three years ago, Travis Lee Meadows showed up to the home of Patsy Hanchett intoxicated. After having a few more drinks, he jumped into the woman’s pond around midnight and drowned.

Acting as temporary administrator of Meadows’ estate, Beaumont attorney Justin Sanderson filed suit against Hanchett on July 2, 2012, in Jefferson County District Court, alleging the 47-year-old drowning victim should have been warned of the dangers of swimming intoxicated.

Court records show that on Nov. 13 the plaintiff filed a motion to dismiss, stating that he no longer wished to pursue the lawsuit.

That same day, Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, dismissed the defendant without prejudice.

Court records further show that Hanchett answered the suit on Aug. 23, asserting a general denial and asking that the court require the plaintiff to prove every element of his cause.

The lawsuit alleged that on July 2, 2010, Meadows was a guest at Hanchett’s Beaumont home. He had been drinking alcohol and/or taking drugs prior to his arrival and continued to drink while at the defendant’s residence, the suit states.

“Decedent was then allowed to go swimming in defendant’s pond, where he drowned shortly after getting in,” the suit states.

The suit continued by asserting Hanchett negligently failed to warn Meadows of the dangerous condition, failed to supervise him and negligently allowed an intoxicated individual to utilize the pond.

Sanderson was suing for wrongful death damages, including loss of companionship and extreme grief.

Adam Terrell of Weller, Green, Toups and Terrell in Beaumont represented him.

Germer Gertz attorney Karen Bennett of Beaumont represented the defendant.

Case No. E192-644

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