A Beaumont judge has placed $1 million in settlement proceeds from a Dram Shop suit into the court registry while the parties sort out who gets what.

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 who later died in an automobile collision.

Court records show that the petition was re-filed as a lawsuit on March 16, with Jack Smith and Dawn Fluts as plaintiffs and Triangle Marketing and its representative Hussain Ali Habib as defendants.

On Oct. 3 Judge Gary Sanderson, 6oth District Court, ordered that the suit settlement proceeds, $1 million, be placed into the court registry until a final determination of entitlement is made among the plaintiffs and lien holders, court papers say.

According to the original petition, on Sept. 17, 2011, The County Store allegedly sold minors a large quantity of alcohol, which was a proximate cause of their intoxication and the deadly car crash that followed.

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

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

They are represented by Beaumont attorney Clay Dugas.

Case No. B192-015

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