On Oct. 29 the Ninth Court of Appeals dissolved a temporary injunction obtained in a dram shop suit brought against a nightclub and two individuals after a drunk driver allegedly killed a Nederland teen.
On March 6 Beverly and Daniel Paris, the parents of the late Kristin Paris, filed suit against the Beaumont company Rocklon LLC (Dream Street), Rocklon Kennedy and Thomas Sherlock on March 6 in Jefferson County District Court.
Kennedy is a prominent Beaumont businessman who owns Dream Street, a gentleman's club. He allegedly was driving the vehicle that struck and killed Kristin, who was 18 years old at the time of her death.
Rocklon operates the bar in which the incident allegedly leading to Kristin’s death occurred. According to court documents, Kennedy was over-served alcohol, became intoxicated, and allegedly struck and killed Kristin while subsequently driving his vehicle on Jan. 26.
Court records show that on June 18 Rocklon appealed an order granting a temporary injunction against the company on May 19.
On appeal, he argued the trial court abused its discretion by granting the injunction because:
- The injunction is not supported by the evidence;
- Is not the proper remedy for “freezing assets unrelated to the subject matter of the suit;” and
- Fails to comply with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.
Ninth Court justices found the injunction order failed to comply with civil code procedures, reversing the trial court and remanding the case for further proceedings.
“In this case, the trial court’s temporary injunction order neither contains a date setting the case for trial on the merits nor fixes the amount of the required bond,” wrote Chief Justice Steve McKeithen in the court’s opinion. “(The trial judge) also fails to set forth the reasons explaining issuance of the injunction.
“(The Plaintiffs) ask this Court to modify the injunction in place of dissolution. However, an injunction that fails to comply with procedural rules is void, not merely voidable, and is subject to dissolution.”
The complaint cites that Sherlock, the bartender as well as the manager and part owner at the establishment, continued to serve Kennedy, even though, the suit maintains, he was aware that Kennedy was intoxicated.
Kristin was driving on Interstate 10 when Kennedy entered the roadway against traffic, colliding with her vehicle. The victim was conscious and bleeding; however, she passed away in a hospital two days later.
Citing breach of duty and negligence, Beverly and Daniel Paris allege violation of state liquor law, claiming that the bar willfully over-serves its patrons. Apart from wrongful death, they also claim survival action, referring to their own mental anguish, medical expenses, and funeral and burial costs.
The plaintiffs seek actual, consequential, exemplary and punitive damages, plus attorney’s fees, expenses and costs.
They are represented by Kurt Arnold, J. Kyle Findley and Kala Flittner of Arnold and Itkin in Houston.
Beaumont attorney David Bernsen represents Rocklon.
Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court, is presiding over the case.
Case No. B-196826