A sports bar in Austell, Georgia, has agreed to pay $1 million to the widow of a 36-year-old man killed by a patron who drove while intoxicated. The Sports Grill agreed to a settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit after a Cobb County judge sanctioned the bar for destroying four hours of videotape that showed the patron drinking at the facility.
Cuneyt Erturk, a Turkish immigrant, was driving home from a local Domino’s Pizza where he worked as a night manager on Oct. 25, 2008 when he was struck and killed by a car driven by the drunk driver. His widow filed a lawsuit claiming that staff members overserved the patron when they should have known he would drive home. The parties reached a settlement on July 15th.
The trial judge sanctioned the bar in May for destroying over four hours of videotape that might have proved the Plaintiff’s case. The judge also found evidence that The Sports Grill destroyed the tabs for two customers who were at the bar with the drunken driver and the “spill sheet” that recorded complimentary drinks to patrons that night. The court’s order read in part:
It is particularly disturbing that The Sports Bar would permit the destruction of the subject evidence after it became aware that a patron to whom it had been serving alcohol was involved in a fatal crash after leaving its premises.
The judge sanctioned The Sports Grill by restricting its lawyers from introducing any evidence to contradict the claim that bartenders served alcohol to the patron while he was already drunk. The drunk driver is awaiting trial on charges of driving without headlights, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and first-degree vehicular homicide. Lloyd Bell, an Atlanta lawyer, represented the Plaintiff and did a very good job.
Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.