Father sues strip club after daughter's death

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Jun 19, 2008

The Lipstick Club in Bacliff

GALVESTON – A Texas City father is taking a strip club to court after his 20-year-old daughter was killed in an auto accident after her first night of work at the nightclub.

Ronnie Sanchez of Texas City filed suit against Lipstick Gentleman's Club of Bacliff in Galveston County District Court on June 4 on behalf of the late Kristen Anet Sanchez, alleging the establishment contributed to the April 26 death of his daughter.

Kristen Anet Sanchez, 20, was reportedly on her way to Galveston from the club where she worked as a dancer when her vehicle hydroplaned off State Highway 146 between Dickinson and Texas City and into a pond around 3:40 a.m.

Upside down with water rapidly filling up her car, a panic-stricken Kristen Anet Sanchez called 911 and relayed information for what was approximately 8 minutes. She told the dispatcher she was near the plants, but Texas City law enforcement officials took almost 30 minutes to locate her.

The attempt to rescue Kristen Anet Sanchez was unsuccessful and she died from drowning. Authorities cited inclement weather and thick vegetation as hindrances to the search.

According to the suit, Lipstick management served Sanchez alcohol despite her underage status hours before her death. The legal drinking age in Texas is 21.

Sanchez sat on the manager's lap while the two drank, states the lawsuit. It adds the session continued past 2 a.m., the club's closing time.

Though the club bore documentation of Sanchez's age, club management provided the decedant what it calls "shift drinks" as a way for her to overcome any jitters she had toward dancing and better interact with customers, explains the original petition.

The lawsuit argues the manager whisked Sanchez away to a back room so video cameras would not catch her drinking. The incident occurred around the evening of Mar. 15, which was Sanchez's first day on the job.

The girl was in the midst of emotional upheaval given the end of a longtime romantic relationship, says the lawsuit.

Her estate is represented by attorney Tony Buzbee of Galveston.

Judge Lonnie Cox, 56th District Court, is presiding over the case. He ordered the club and its employees not to alter or destroy video footage or other records from March 15 to April 26.

Case No. 08CV0575

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