The family of a man killed in a 2008 car collision was awarded $1 million last month in a lawsuit against Southern Oaks Country Club. Employees at the club were accused of selling too much alcohol to a man who is now serving time in prison for causing the fatal accident. Lance Shetler was killed December 29, 2008, when his car was involved in a head-on crash with a vehicle driven by Mark Charles Pierce, a former high school football star whose blood-alcohol level was nearly double the legal limit three hours after the crash. Pierce is serving a 15-year sentence for the crash and an eight-year sentence for a 2006 Parker County drug conviction.
State District Judge Dana Womack signed a final judgment order against MNP Southern Oaks Private Club, which was doing business as Southern Oaks Country Club. In the lawsuit, Shetler’s family alleged that the club continued to serve Pierce alcohol despite witness accounts that he was intoxicated when he arrived at the club to play golf with an uncle and another couple. Testimony indicated Pierce bought “at least 12 cans of beer” at 12:30 p.m. the day of the crash and bought six more after playing the first nine holes. After nine more holes, he went to the clubhouse, where a bartender served him more alcohol. A blood test after the crash showed Pierce’s blood-alcohol level at 0.14. The legal limit for being declared intoxicated is 0.08.
Shetler was a father of three, an inventor of medical devices and a Sunday School teacher. Steven Laird, a lawyer in Fort Worth, represented the Shetler family and did a very good job. He had this to say about the impact of the verdict:
I hope this is a lesson to the community that serves alcohol to pay attention to proper policies and procedures, to not over serve alcohol and to preserve the safety of the general public.
Drinking and driving are a deadly mix and the results can be either serious injuries or deaths for innocent victims. We all have an obligation to help keep drunk drivers off U.S. highways.
Source: Star Telegram
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