Thursday, September 29, 2016

Video shows what led to conviction of bartender accused of serving man too much to drink (Parma, OH)

PARMA, Ohio-- The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained video from inside a bar just before a man died, and the pictures helped lead to a rare conviction for a bartender accused of serving the man too much to drink.

Watch video:

Last year, Nicholas Yorko died. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner says he died from a mix of alcohol, heroin, and fentanyl. But recently, Annie Harte was convicted on a charge for overserving alcohol. However, she was not charged with causing the death.

The video comes from a bar in Parma that’s now closed. You see Harte, the bartender, pouring drinks for Yorko. Later you see him slumped over as Harte and others tried to revive him.

We asked why she didn’t call 9-1-1 earlier. Harte said, “There was times I tried to wake him up, but he was like, ‘hmm, hmm, hmm,’ not coherent, but he was still with me.”

Police reports say the bartender served double and triple shots. The equivalent of 18 drinks in an hour and 20 minutes. Police put together a case for a grand jury to consider a charge of involuntary manslaughter. But again, Harte was not indicted for the death.

Nonetheless, Parma Police say this should send a message to anyone serving drinks anywhere. Lt. Kevin Riley said, "It is definitely an important case for people to understand that when you're dealing with somebody that is so intoxicated that they're just not responding to any type of stimuli, and they're not waking up, and it doesn't look like they're going to anytime soon, it’s probably a good idea to call paramedics right away."

The Ohio Investigative Unit looks into cases like this statewide. Local agent-in-charge Greg Croft said, “What’s on that video should never happen in any bar in Ohio.” The Ohio Investigative Unit is still doing looking into this case to see if anyone else connected to the bar should be cited.

Harte says a woman claiming to be a nurse checked on the man at the bar that night, and she didn’t see this case turning deadly. Harte also says she knew Yorko well. She added, "I may have overserved him. I'm not saying that I didn't."


Kolstad files lawsuit in after-bar beating (Mankato, MN)

MANKATO, Minn. -
The wife of a former Minnesota State University football player has sued two men convicted of causing the student's permanent brain injuries during a 2014 assault outside a bar in downtown Mankato. 

The civil lawsuit filed by Molly Kolstad as guardian and conservator for Isaac Kolstad, his children and immediate family also names Blue Bricks Bar and South Street Saloon. They allege the bars illegally sold liquor to Philip Nelson, who was 20 years old at the time.

Kolstad and his family allege Nelson's intoxication directly caused his decision to start the altercation and kick Kolstad in the head. Trevor Shelley, the other man named in the lawsuit, pleaded guilty in March to felony second-degree assault in the incident during which he sucker-punched Kolstad, knocking him unconscious. Kolstad then fell to the sidewalk, fracturing his skull and injuring his brain.

26-year-old Isaac Kolstad suffered severe injuries in the attack. Despite several surgeries, doctors say he will never be the same. (Photo: KARE)

The lawsuit says the incident and damages were caused by Nelson's negligence, as well as Nelson and Shelley's battery and assault of Kolstad. It also blames Blue Bricks Bar for hiring the bouncer whose decision to kiss Nelson's girlfriend enraged the former Gopher quarterback, setting in motion the events that led to Kolstad's beating.

Molly Kolstad, her husband and his family have requested a jury trial to determine damages.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Cofrancesco, Passenger, Bar Sued Over Death Of Motorcyclist (Chattanooga, TN)

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Henry Cofrancesco III, who last week was indicted for vehicular homicide in the death of motorcyclist Robert Benedict, is now facing a lawsuit over the May 21 incident.

Lisa Benedict, his widow, is asking a total of $7 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

Also sued was Angela Bryant, listed as the owner of the car being driven by Cofrancesco.

The suit also names Mirage Images.

The suit, filed by attorneys Richard Schulman and Michael Anderson in Circuit Court, says Mr. Benedict was driving his 2006 American Iron Horse motorcycle south on Lee Highway in the left hand lane of traffic.

It says Cofrancesco drove a 2015 BMW 431 "negligently and recklessly" out of the parking lot of Mirage Images at 5900 Lee Highway.

The suit says he went over a curb and struck the Benedict motorcycle.

It says Cofrancesco and Ms. Bryant "were both obviously impaired and under the influence of alcohol and other drugs."

The suit says Ms. Bryant was guilty of gross negligence in allowing him to drive the vehicle while "obviously under the influence of alcohol and intoxicants as she was."

The complaint says the bar was liable for selling drinks to the couple knowing they were intoxicated.

It says bar employees "knew him as a customer previously and allowed him to be served alcoholic beverages when he was obviously intoxicated and impaired and allowed him to leave their establishment and drive a motor vehicle thereby causing the death" of Robert Benedict.


Monday, September 12, 2016

NJ Devils terminate Ben Johnson’s contract after sex assault verdict

Johnson is also facing a $3.95-million civil lawsuit from the unidentified woman, now 20. According to The Londoner, she also named Mynt nightclub, a “now-defunct downtown bar,” in the suit, claiming that “its owners and employees allowed underaged people like herself to become drunk and vulnerable, then failed to protect them.”

Ben Johnson, 22, was selected 90th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils. He played in the AHL with the Albany Devils for the last three seasons. He played his junior hockey with the Windsor Spitfires.

On Thursday, the Devils announced that they were “initiating the process required to terminate Mr. Johnson’s Standard Player’s Contract” after Justice Kirk Munroe announced in a Windsor, Ont. courtroom that Johnson had been found guilty of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in a bar bathroom in March 2013.

Johnson pleaded not guilty one year ago. This trial began in June 2016. He claimed that he and the victim didn’t engage in sexual intercourse, and that their contact was limited to “consensual oral sex.” The victim claimed nothing that occurred between the two had been consensual, and the Crown claimed that the victim was so intoxicated that she couldn’t have issued consent.

From the Toronto Sun:

Munroe said he found Johnson’s testimony “unbelievable” based on evidence provided by a sexual assault nurse and multiple witnesses in the bar that night.

Based on the evidence provided in the 10-day trial the judge determined a blood stain found on the victim’s pants was from a tear of the hymen and not from her menstrual cycle as Johnson testified. This led him to the conclusion that vaginal sex did occur in the bathroom stall that night.

Munroe said based on the evidence of several witnesses Johnson should have known that the victim was too “out of it” from the consumption of alcohol to give consent to any sexual interaction.

Johnson is also facing a $3.95-million civil lawsuit from the unidentified woman, now 20. According to The Londoner, she also named Mynt nightclub, a “now-defunct downtown bar,” in the suit, claiming that “its owners and employees allowed underaged people like herself to become drunk and vulnerable, then failed to protect them.”


Sunday, September 11, 2016

SC lawsuits against bars that serve killer drunks on upswing (South Carolina)


When Caitlin Clark died after a motorcycle crash last August, the 19-year-old Lexington County woman joined a sad and growing list of South Carolinians killed by drunks who leave bars too intoxicated to drive safely.

James Gainey Jr., the motorcycle driver whose dangerous driving killed Clark, was convicted of DUI and reckless homicide. He is now serving five years in state prison.

That wasn’t the last legal action in that case.

Across South Carolina, relatives of people killed by drivers who’ve become intoxicated in the state’s bars and restaurants are suing, alleging those establishments knowingly kept on serving alcohol to someone like Gainey who was unfit to drive.

Read more here:

“It’s a growing problem,” said Todd Ellis, the attorney who is representing Caitlin Clark’s father in his lawsuit against the company that runs the Tin Roof bar at 1022 Senate St. in Columbia’s Vista.

“Monitoring and limiting customers’ drinks is at odds with many bars’ profit motives to sell alcohol as fast as you can to as many customers as you can without regard to the customers’ intoxication levels,” Ellis said.

No date has been set for the Tin Roof trial. The bar’s lawyers, Mark Gende and Bill Sweeny, didn’t return calls.

John Durst, president of the S.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association, says many of the state’s drinking establishments know they can do better in training staff members to recognize and manage customers who are showing signs of intoxication.

“We know there are vulnerabilities in what we do that need to be addressed,” said Durst, whose 1,400-member group will be backing legislation in the General Assembly in January that would require training be given to staff members in drinking establishments.

“We’re going to be pushing for that again,” Durst said.

The training would teach servers and managers how to check IDs for age, recognize signs of intoxication and diplomatically tell customers they can’t have any more alcoholic beverages. Some public and private programs are available to teach bar workers how to deal with excessive drinking, but those programs are voluntary and aren’t widely used, Durst said.

Seventeen states require drinking establishments to provide mandatory safe alcohol service training, according to the National Restaurant Association.

Last year, the state Senate considered a bill called Alli’s Law that would have required mandatory training for bar and restaurant workers who serve alcohol to recognize signs of intoxication and to slow or halt the serving of booze to those customers.

The bill, which died in committee, was named after Alli Cousins, an Upstate high school senior who was served multiple drinks at a local bar and got intoi a fatal crash while driving home.

“I AM FAR TOO AWARE OF NEEDLESS INJURY AND DEATH THAT RESULTS FROM PEOPLE BEING SERVED WHO ARE ALREADY INTOXICATED, OR AT THE POINT OF INTOXICATATION.”State Sen. Luke Rankin, R-Horry, who plans to prefile a bill requiring mandatory training for alcohol servers.

State Sen. Luke Rankin, R-Horry, expects to file a similar bill for the upcoming Legislative session.

“I am far too aware of needless injury and death that results from people being served who are already intoxicated, or at the point of intoxication,” said Rankin, a lawyer.

In fact, Rankin said, his biggest jury verdict – $4 million – was a bar that overserved a driver who killed an Horry man. The victim was pinned in his vehicle and was burned alive, Rankin said.

No statistics are kept on the number of people who sue bars in this kind of case. But they appear to be numerous. Lawyers like Rankin contacted for this story confirmed it’s not unusual to have these cases.

“I’ve been involved in far too many cases where this kind of thing happened, and in fact, I’m in the middle of two right now,” Rankin said. “It is rampant.”

“I’m filing one of these lawsuits against a bar later today,” Greenville attorney Wally Fayssoux said last week. “It wouldn’t surprise me if there weren’t at least 10 or 12 such lawsuits pending in most counties, especially the large counties. I know there are 10 or 15 pending in Greenville.”

Last fall, Fayssoux and fellow lawyers Butch Bowers and Paul Landis convinced a Richland County jury to award $3.85 million in damages from the Loose Cockaboose Sports Bar. The lawyers’ case convinced the jury that Loose Cockaboose had not only served liquor after hours, but served an obviously intoxicated Billy Patrick Hutto, a repeat DUI offender.

Several hours after a drinking binge at Loose Cockaboose, Hutto ran a red light going 60 mph and slammed into a car driven by David Longstreet in Lexington. Longstreet was taking his family to church; his daughter, Emma, was killed. Hutto is now serving a 10-year prison sentence for felony DUI.

“There certainly should be required required mandatory training of people who work in these bars,” said Fayssoux.

It’s not easy to win these lawsuits, Fayssoux said, and a lawyer usually must come up with a combination of evidence from video surveillance cameras, credit card receipts showing the times each individual drink was served, and witnesses to convince a jury to award damages.

In a 2015 widely publicized legal settlement against a Five Points bar, Columbia attorney Dick Harpootlian used credit card receipts and video surveillance cameras to get a $975,000 wrongful death settlement from Jake’s Bar and Grill in the death of Justin Timmerman, 24, who was crossing Harden Street when he was struck and killed by a speeding intoxicated driver.

A lawsuit in the case alleged Jake’s employees should have known William Holt Carlen, who drove the SUV that killed Timmerman, was intoxicated but kept serving him. Carlen, son of the late University of South Carolina football coach Jim Carlen, later pleaded guilty to felony DUI and is now serving a 10-year prison sentence. In the settlement, Jake’s admitted no fault.

In August, two Anderson restaurants and a former Anderson University coach were named in a lawsuit in a 2014 drunk-driving crash that killed three people and nearly killed a fourth. The driver, 26-year-old former assistant baseball coach Riley Christopher McDermott, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in April to 18 years in prison.

The lawsuit says McDermott drank a total of 13 beers at the two bars, Hooters of Anderson and The Bench, before the accident.

Lawyer Fayssoux said many people who work in bars are young and don’t always appreciate the consequences of overserving.

“They don’t know about families destroyed and lives altered over an extra couple of beers,” Fayssoux said. “You can’t leave it up to the industry to police themselves.”


Read more here:

Lawsuit citing negligence and wrongful death has been filed (Tulsa, OK)

Posted: Saturday, September 10, 2016 12:01 am | Updated: 2:20 am, Sat Sep 10, 2016.

By Paighten Harkins Tulsa World

Related story: Murder charge filed in fatal shooting outside south Tulsa bar

A lawsuit citing negligence and wrongful death has been filed against the south Tulsa bar where a 27-year-old man was fatally shot in mid-February.

In addition to Momma T’s Big Easy Lounge, 6533 S. Peoria Ave., the suit also names bar owner Tressie Loper and the suspect in the shooting, 31-year-old Watani Phinnes Gleason, as defendants.

The shooting occurred Feb. 6 after Nathan Brooker apparently intervened in a fight between Gleason and another bar patron. The fight spilled outside into the parking lot, where Brooker was shot multiple times.

He died the next day at the hospital.

The suit alleges that the bar didn't provide adequate security by letting Gleason, who reportedly had a loaded gun on him, into the business and serving Gleason alcohol after they allege he was already noticeably intoxicated.

"This was not at all surprising considering that Momma T's is well known for being a bar that has no limits on how much a person is served alcoholic drinks," the lawsuit says.

The suit goes on to say bar staff didn't break up the fight before those involved went outside and Brooker was shot.

Those allegations amount to wrongful death negligence claims against the bar and its owner, as well as wrongful death assault and battery claims against Gleason, the petition alleges.

The plaintiffs are seeking in excess of $75,000 in damages and other costs, according to the petition.


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Mother of Red Bud teen killed in crash files wrongful-death suit (Evansville, IL)

By Jamie Forsythe

The mother of a Red Bud teen killed in a car crash has filed a lawsuit against the driver who allegedly caused the crash as well as three establishments that allegedly served alcohol to the underage driver.

Dawn Porter, mother of Hannah Porter, who was killed in a Jan. 10 car crash, has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Crystal Steinheimer, 20, of Red Bud in St. Clair County Court.

Hannah Porter, 20, of Red Bud was a passenger in a 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt driven by her friend Abigail Liefer, 19, of Ruma. They were traveling south on Illinois 159 at about 10:30 p.m. Jan. 10 near Sunset Lane in Monroe County. Steinheimer was driving a 2008 Chevy Aveo north on Illinois 159 and reportedly crossed the center line and struck Liefer’s car.

Both Liefer and Porter died, and passenger Grace Richards, 21, of Red Bud was injured. Steinheimer was also injured. Illinois State Police investigated the crash.

The lawsuit against Steinheimer, who could not be reached for comment, alleges she failed to keep control of the vehicle and keep a proper lookout and crossed the center line.

As a result of Hannah Porter’s death, her family has incurred and become liable for “large sums of money in hospital, medical and burial expenses.”

Dawn Porter is represented by Samantha Unsell of Keefe and Keefe P.C. in Belleville. “It was a horribly tragic accident,” Unsell said Friday. “We filed suit against the at-fault driver as well as the taverns that allegedly served this underage woman.”

Three establishments in Evansville also are listed as defendants in the suit, which alleges the bars served alcohol to Steinheimer. Steinheimer is 20. The legal drinking age in Illinois is 21.

The establishments named in the suit are Michael J’s Saloon, 602 Liberty St.; Water Street Bar and Grill, 201 Water St.; and Just Sue’s, 501 Liberty St.

Michael J. Stefani, owner of Michael J’s Saloon, and Susan K. Levery, owner of Just Sue’s, are also listed as defendants in the suit.

When reached by phone Friday, Stefani and Levery both declined to comment. A representative of Water Street Bar and Grill could not immediately be reached for comment.

Defendants in the suit have 30 days from when the suit was filed — Aug. 20 — to formally respond to the suit.

Unsell said she filed the suit in St. Clair County because the principal office for the Water Street Bar and Grill is located in Belleville. Water Street Bar and Grill is operated by KBB Growth LLC, which is located at 200 N. 72nd St. She said St. Clair County is therefore a proper venue for the suit.

The Illinois Dram Shop Act allows individuals to seek compensation against owners of businesses that sell liquor for physical injury or death of a person and damage to property caused by an intoxicated person.

Steinheimer’s blood-alcohol level was 0.179 percent — more than twice the 0.08 threshold for drunken driving in Illinois. Steinheimer was charged with aggravated driving under the influence and reckless homicide. She has pleaded not guilty to those charges in Monroe County.

The lawsuit seeks more than $825,000, according to court documents.

Read more here:

Friday, September 9, 2016

After Attack Over James Harden Diss, Moses Malone Jr. Sues Nightclub (Houston, TX)

FRIDAY, AUGUST 12, 2016 AT 5 A.M.

Don't talk smack about Houston Rockets guard James Harden on Facebook — or at least that's one takeaway from a lawsuit filed this week in Harris County.

Moses Malone Jr., son of NBA legend and former Rockets center Moses Malone, has sued the Houston nightclub V Live for negligence after he was attacked just outside the club, apparently because of remarks he made on Facebook about Harden. According to Malone's attorney, George Farah, a person affiliated with V Live named Darian Blount orchestrated the June 25 attack, and security guards not only turned a blind eye as Malone was beat up and robbed, but even let the attackers back inside the club after they left 37-year-old Malone with a swollen face.

Oh yeah, and James Harden was at the club that night, too, according to witnesses Farah interviewed.

Here's what Farah says Malone posted on Facebook just before getting jumped (Farah was going off memory): "Why is James Harden charging $249 for his basketball camp when Donald Driver, who doesn't make as much money as he does, is doing his camp for free?"

Fighting words, apparently. "The first thing Mr. Blount said to Moses Malone as he approached the nightclub was, 'Why are you talking about James Harden on Facebook?'" Farah recounted. "'Don't be talking about him on social media."

According to court documents, Blount — who, according to a criminal complaint and past criminal charges, appears to be affiliated with V Live — ordered as many as 15 armed men to beat Malone up. They also ripped his earrings and chain necklaces off his body and stole his cellphone and wallet, court papers state. None of the V Live employees who witnessed the beating called 911, Farah said, and Malone had to do it himself.

Malone is seeking $200,000 to $1 million in damages from the club.

Blount, along with three others, is now charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. According to a criminal complaint, Blount admitted to police he confronted Malone about that totally vicious Facebook post, but denied being present while other men kicked him in the face and stole his belongings. Blount had left the scene before police arrived that night.

Farah anticipates that Blount, other attackers and individual security guards at V Live who did nothing to help Malone may be added to the lawsuit in the future. Harden is not accused of any involvement or wrongdoing, though Farah said he is still gathering all the evidence.

V Live did not return our request for comment.


2 Chapel Hill bars negligent in UNC student’s triple-fatal crash, lawsuit says (Chapel Hill, NC)

August 31, 2015  HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Two Chapel Hill establishments have been added to a lawsuit against UNC Chapel Hill student Chandler Kania after the death of Darlene McGee and two other people in a crash in Orange County.

Added to the suit were He’s Not Here, a popular bar in Chapel Hill, and La Residence Restaurant and Bar, a longtime Chapel Hill establishment.

McGee, 46, of Charlotte was killed July 19 when Kania was driving drunk on I-85. A 6-year-old girl and another woman were also killed in the crash.

The lawsuit is being brought by Deseante Jones, the daughter of McGee.

The lawsuit also names Kania’s parents.

The lawsuit states that Kania, a 20-year-old UNC student, drank at La Residence and was not required to show identification. The lawsuit states the La Residence employees “should have known” Kania was intoxicated.

The lawsuit said Kania later went to He’s Not Here and was served alcohol, even though he was under age and intoxicated.

The lawsuit claims the two restaurants failed to have adequate measures in place to prevent underage students from drinking there.

The lawsuit accuses the restaurants of “gross negligence and willful or wanton conduct evidencing a reckless disregard for the rights and safety of others.”

The lawsuit also said He’s Not Here and La Residence have a pattern of allowing underage drinking. The suit said the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement branch “has been involved in multiple investigations in the past 18 months” of the two places selling alcohol to minors.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Officer who lost part of ear during arrest sues suspect, bar (Salem, MA)

The Salem (Mass.) News,
September 7, 2016

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — A rookie Massachusetts police officer who lost part of her ear when it was bitten by a woman she was arresting outside a bar has sued the suspect and the tavern.

The Salem News reports that Salem Patrolwoman Jessica Rondinelli’s suit seeks monetary compensation for lost income and medical expenses, as well as compensation for permanent scarring.

The suit says the bar was negligent for serving an underage patron.

Prosecutors say Rondinelli was responding to a fight outside the bar in the early morning hours of Aug. 7, and while Rondinelli was putting 19-year-old Emma Wiley in a cruiser, Wiley bit off a piece of the officer’s ear. Doctors were unable to re-attach it.

The bar’s manager declined to comment. A message left for Wiley’s attorney was not returned.


Just a few Steve Guidry

She definitely has a case against bar.  Therefore, I'd say it's not a matter of if they settle...but how much they are going to settle for. 

I've said this before and I'll repeat it: You absolutely, positively, must teach your staff not only to ID every person under the age of 40-50 probably (I damn near ID everyone unless I see wrinkles and white hair), but teach them HOW to ID the customers. This is far from the first of it's kind, and it won't be the last...

For more information about how to ID customers, the latest research and trends with fake ID's, or increasing hospitality safety and sales, please visit or

By Steve Guidry

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Alabama Hooters restaurant sold alcohol to Georgia teen killed in accident, lawsuit claims (Pelham, AL)

August 31st, 2016

A Hooters restaurant in Pelham illegally sold alcohol to a Georgia teen who was struck and killed by a vehicle after leaving the restaurant drunk, according to a lawsuit filed by the teen's family.

Ryan Joseph Rohr, 18, died May 25 after being struck by a vehicle along Cahaba Valley Road (Alabama 119), according to the lawsuit filed in Shelby County Circuit Court. The lawsuit was filed by the law firm Cory Watson on behalf of a Rohr family member.

A Hooters manager in Pelham referred questions to the chain restaurant's corporate offices. Hooters had not responded to a request for comment prior to publication of this story.

Rohr purchased and was served spirituous liquors while dining at the restaurant, according to the lawsuit. He was not asked by servers "to present any form of identification to verify he was of legal age (21 or older) to purchase and be served spirituous liquors," the lawsuit states.

Rohr was accompanied by three other young men, one of whom was also under 21 and was allowed to buy liquor without presenting identification, according to the lawsuit.

"After dining and consuming multiple alcoholic beverages over the course of approximately two to three hours, Rohr and the other three individuals paid for the food and drink and left the restaurant to return to their hotel, which is located across the street from the Hooters restaurant," the lawsuit states.

Attorneys for the Rohr family stated that Rohr had traveled to Alabama to work on a construction project.

Two of the men crossed the street in front of the restaurant, and another had begun to cross the street and was standing in the middle turning lane when Ryan Rohr began to cross, according to the lawsuit.

"As Mr. Rohr was crossing the street intoxicated, he was struck by a vehicle," the lawsuit states. "The impact propelled Mr. Rohr's body approximately thirty feet down the road."

The lawsuit is brought under the Alabama Dram Shop Act. "The Alabama Dram Shop Act provides a cause of action by any person injured in consequence of the intoxication of any person against any person who provides alcohol, contrary to the provisions of law, causing the intoxication of such person," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit also claims negligent hiring, retention, supervision, and training. The lawsuit seeks an unnamed amount of punitive damages.

"This case highlights what happens when a company breaks the law and sells alcohol to a minor," attorney Douglas A. Dellaccio who represents Ryan's parents, stated in a press release issued late Tuesday afternoon. "In this case, when Hooters broke the law, a young man died," he stated.

Dellaccio stated the medical examiner's report revealed Rohr had a blood alcohol content of .24 at the time of his death, which is three times the legal limit for an adult. Any blood alcohol content above 0 is considered illegal for a minor, he stated.

"Teenagers are especially vulnerable. Hooters knows that. Alabama law clearly holds establishments accountable for upholding the laws governing the sale and service of alcoholic beverages. Hooters broke the law by serving Ryan alcohol and by continuing to serve him alcohol even after he passed the point of obvious intoxication. Ryan died as a result and we are holding them accountable for his death. Those who sell and serve alcohol bear full responsibility for their actions," Dellaccio stated. 

Color Commentary by Steve Guidry:  


"Rohr was accompanied by three other young men, one of whom was also under 21 and was allowed to buy liquor without presenting identification, according to the lawsuit."  

You absolutely, positively, must teach your staff not only to ID every person under the age of 40-50 probably (I damn near ID everyone unless I see wrinkles and white hair), but teach them how to ID the customers.  Very sad, but this is far from the first of it's kind, and it won't be the last...
For more information about how to ID customers, the latest research and trends with fake ID's, or increasing hospitality safety and sales, please visit or

By Steve Guidry

International Room bar sued over alleged drunk driving crash into downtown Texarkana fountain (Texarcana, TX)

August 31st, 2016

A civil lawsuit filed Monday alleges the International Room is liable for injuries suffered during a crash into Texarkana’s downtown fountain last month.

The co-guardians of Donnie Joe Smith, 62, are named as plaintiffs in the suit which names the International Room, also known as R & R or the Double R, as a defendant in connection with a July 26 wreck on the state line between Texas and Arkansas. Smith and Harvey Lynn Terry, 53, allegedly began drinking at the International Room the night of July 25.

The suit alleges employees of the International Room continued to serve Terry alcohol even after it was obvious he was drunk. The complaint accuses the employees of failing to act appropriately under the circumstances. According to earlier news reports, Terry has a history of drunk driving convictions.

Sometime after midnight on the morning of July 26, Terry crashed his Nissan Frontier pickup into the brick fountain in front of Texarkana’s downtown post office and courthouse, injuring both men. Texarkana, Texas, police worked the wreck, which was deemed alcohol-related.

Smith’s guardians, Carolyn Everett and Patricia Jan Jones, want the bar to compensate them for Smith’s past and future medical expenses, past and future pain and suffering, past and future physical impairment, physical disfigurement and scarring, past and future disability, mental anguish, lost wages and loss of earning capacity.

Guardianships are necessary when a person’s mental or physical state makes it impossible for them to carry out decisions or care for themselves.
The lawsuit, filed on the guardians’ and Smith’s behalves by Texarkana lawyer Matthew Golden, has been assigned to Miller County Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson. The International Room has not yet filed a response to the complaint


Color Commentary by Steve Guidry:  Now normally I would voice my opinion on this, but I'm going to let some of the Facebook comments, i.e. a jury of our peers, do the talking for me today. 
Anyone that gets drunk n drives is responsible for their actions..why sue the bar..why not manufacturers of alcohol? Always wanting to place blame when laws are drink n are responsible.
Like · Reply · 16 · 23 hrs

How bout all bars start calling cops, when someone has become intoxicated, and giving them a heads up, to cover their own asses? Would be a huge increase in DUIs . I know it's an extreme idea. But if this kind of ignorance, of blaming the bars, is going to happen, then they need a way to protect themselves
Like · Reply · 5 · 21 hrs

The State should have a system by which the Bar or Restaurant has a method by which to check prior DWI convictions via Drivers Liscense scan. This would ensure that they were aware of prior violations and put them on guard as to an individual's problematic history. Many of the people who enter the bar / restaurant are already legally drunk prior to being served. (SG: Interesting, but never happening.)
Like · Reply · 2 · 23 hrs

It seems someone failed at their guardianship duties. Get ready for counter suits and guardianship revocation.
Like · Reply · 7 · 22 hrs

The accident is why he has to have court appointed guardians now, I believe he was operating under his own 'personal' crappy guardian before and during the accident. Probably got suck with one who hadn't even earned their wings.
Like · Reply · 21 hrs

I know bars should stop serving after a certain point, but what ever happened to personal responsibility? Seems like people always point their finger at someone else and looking for an easy payday.
Like · Reply · 19 · 23 hrs

Such is the world today....always an ambulance chasing greedy litigator ready to make somebody (namely THEMSELVES) "rich" by assigning blame. It's always SOMEONE ELSE'S FAULT. One of the reasons we as a nation are as screwed up as we are. The bar could have cut him off and he could've had a quart of liquor in his vehicle for all we know... So it seems a stretch to point at a place (especially a bar) and say blame lies "there".
Like · Reply · 2 · 13 hrs

Preach on people, preach on.  Obviously each case around the country is different and there are cases of negligence that do exist in the bar business, but whenever I see the repeat DWI offenders crashing into fountains in the town square, I have no appreciation for their lawsuit.  

For more information about increasing hospitality safety and sales, please visit or

By Steve Guidry