Clearwater Florida premises liability: DUI crash prompts lawsuit against bar

Legal News for Florida Premises Liability Attorneys. Shephard’s Beach Resort in Clearwater, Florida, was sued for their role in an injurious DUI-related traffic crash.

Florida premises liability lawyer alert- A lawsuit was filed against a Clearwater Beach bar after a DUI-related traffic crash caused a pedestrian to suffer serious injuries.

Clearwater, FL—A pedestrian who suffered severe injuries and had to be hospitalized for seven months after being struck by an intoxicated driver has filed a premises liability lawsuit against the bar that served the inebriated man on the night of the accident. The lawsuit was filed in Pinellas County, Florida on Monday, April 12, 2010, as reported by TampaBay.com.

According to information provided, 25-year-old Joshua West was reportedly drinking heavily at Shephard’s Beach Resort on April 20, 2009, prompting employees to eventually kick him out “because he was grossly intoxicated”. Upon leaving the Clearwater Beach bar, West got into his vehicle, reached speeds of nearly 90 mph, swerved onto a sidewalk near a Safety Harbor apartment complex and violently struck Andrew Hall, a tenant who had been standing outside the building. West initially fled the scene but was eventually apprehended by Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputies. Hall, who has cerebral palsy, consequently suffered severe injuries, which included a severed leg and crushed pelvis and was wheelchair bound after the incident. Hall was hospitalized for seven months after the DUI-related traffic crash.

With regard to the injurious pedestrian-involved motor vehicle collision (MVC), Hall’s attorney stated, “Our investigation has revealed that Joshua West was served an inordinate amount of alcohol at Shephard’s on the night of the incident and that they had actual knowledge he was driving because their employees escorted him to his car.” The lawsuit contends the beach bar was liable in the incident because they were allegedly aware that West had a habitual addiction to alcohol but served him nonetheless.

Reports also noted that since the bar willfully served West, even with prior knowledge of his addiction to alcohol, Shephard’s could be held liable under Florida’s “dram shop” law. West, who was also named in the personal injury suit, allegedly plead guilty to charges including DUI, causing serious bodily injury while intoxicated behind the wheel, as well as fleeing the scene of a motor vehicle accident causing injury. While the extents of compensatory damages sought out through the personal injury suit were not immediately disclosed, the case continues.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan- Legal News for Florida Premises Liability Lawyers.