Family Awarded $300 Billion For Texas Drunk Driver Wrongful Death Lawsuit
On November 12, 2017, Tamra Ray Kindred was on her way home. She had just picked up her granddaughter Aujuni Tamay Anderson from her place of employment. As they proceeded home, they were struck by a Dodge Charger that was traveling over 90 miles per hour. Both were killed in the accident.
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Hours earlier, Beer Belly’s Sports Bar served Josua Delbosque at least eleven alcoholic drinks before he left the bar. He ran a red light at 91 miles per hour violently crashing into Ms. Kindred ‘s vehicle and was also killed. His blood alcohol content was 0.263 percent – significantly higher than the legal limit in Texas of 0.08 percent. The family sued Beer Belly’s Sports Bar for the deaths of their loved ones. They argued that by overserving Delbosque, it violated the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission regulations. Commonly known as the “Dram Shop Doctrine,” it holds the bar liable for continuing to serve an intoxicated customer. The bar’s liability centers around what the bartender knew about the level of intoxication of the customer she is serving. If proven, an insurance claim would prevail to provide the victim with compensation.
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After a short trial, the jury awarded over $301 billion dollars to the family. Sadly, they don’t expect to ever recover as the bar went out of business after having its liquor license suspended in 2019. An interesting issue is whether the family would be able to go back to the time of the accident and determine the existence of insurance coverage under the bar’s liability provisions. They would, however, only be able to recover the insurance policy limits of the bar. Any additional compensation would be unavailable as the bar went out of business.
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Dennis P. Sawan
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Christopher A. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Michigan