On April 14, 2015, a Collier County jury awarded $60 million to a local family after their daughter was permanently disabled during a car wreck 10 years ago.
The family matriarch, a 54-year-old bartender at Tropicana Field, filed a lawsuit eight years ago against the owners of the now-defunct Spectators Sports Pub in Naples. The bar provided drinks to the victim despite her being underage. According to the lawsuit, no one asked her for identification to confirm she was legally of age to consume alcohol.
The boyfriend, who was under the influence of prescription medication and alcohol, crashed his car on Golden Gate Boulevard after he dozed off and veered off the road.
The victim sustained brain damage, broken legs, a lacerated liver and multiple rib fractures. Ultimately, she spent months in a coma with multiple traumatic brain injuries. Now 31-years-old, the victim resides in an assisted living facility and has no recollection of the accident and much of her life before it.
The defendant in the case was Spectators3 LLC, a north Naples company that owned the bar. In 2003, state business records showed there were two managing members and one potential owner. However, in 2008, just months before Spectators Sports Bar dissolved, a different manager was listed. It is unclear who may be held responsible for the $60 million award. No one on the defendants side was present at the trial when the jury announced their decision.
After years of caring for her daughter, the verdict brings hope that the money will help the family stay afloat and provide the young victim with the care she needs for the rest of her life.
Similar to other states, the dram shop laws in Florida hold businesses accountable for serving alcohol to anyone under 21 years of age if the minor is involved in a drunk driving accident. Additionally, a business may be held responsible if they continued to serve a knowingly intoxicated individual, and that individual was later involved in a DUI accident.
Have you or someone you love been injured in a drunk driving collision? The experienced West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at Gordon & Doner can help you determine what your legal options are, and if you may be entitled to compensation.