Grieving father sues drunk driver for $1M the day after daughter’s death

By The SE Texas Record | Jun 3, 2015


A Jasper County man brought suit against a Liberty County resident for alleged wrongful death.

Gary D. Willis filed a grievance against Nathan Stephens of Houston in Jefferson County District Court on May 29, claiming wrongful death in May 2015.

The defendant is presently incarcerated at the Jefferson County Correctional facility in Beaumont, according to the suit. The plaintiff is the surviving father of Hannah Elizabeth Willis, deceased. 

According to the filing, she was killed on May 28 when a motor vehicle driven by the defendant on Interstate 10 in Jefferson County crashed into the decedent’s vehicle forcefully, purportedly causing it to explode and burn.

The suit cites Stephens for negligence and gross negligence in driving while intoxicated; driving in the wrong direction on an interstate highway and at an excessive rate of speed; and failing to yield the right of way. The suit states that the defendant’s negligence caused Hannah’s death.

Willis contends that his 24-year-old daughter experienced severe and excruciating physical pain and mental anguish prior to her death. Additionally citing loss of companionship and support along with funeral and burial expenses, the plaintiff alleges mental anguish, grief and sorrow.

The plaintiff seeks exemplary damages in an amount over $1 million and within the court’s jurisdictional limits; pre- and post-judgment interest; attorney’s fees; expenses, and costs. 

He is represented by Blair Bisbey of Seale, Stover & Bisbey of Jasper, Texas.

Jefferson County District Court Case D-197183

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