A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the estate of Samuel Stephens, a 24 year old, in the Superior Court of Pierce County. The wrongful death suit was filed against Captain Jack’s Bar and Grill, its owners, and Joseph P. McNeil, the drunk driver whose car crashed into the victim’s car. Stephens was killed in a car wreck involving the drunk driver. The crash occurred on September 6, 2010. Stephens was driving on a public highway about 2 a.m. when McNeil’s car crossed the center line of the highway and crashed into his car.
The victim, who was engaged to be married at the time of his death, was working at a church as a youth pastor. McNeil pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and in April was sentenced to two years, seven months in prison. As part of his plea deal, McNeil admitted being under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.
It was alleged in the civil lawsuit that McNeil consumed far too much alcohol at Captain Jack’s. It was further alleged that the employees of the bar sold numerous alcoholic beverages over a considerable number of hours to McNeil, its customer. McNeil departed in the early-morning hours on the day of the incident, in an obviously intoxicated condition. The Plaintiffs contend Captain Jack’s employees served McNeil too much to drink and let him drive away even though he was obviously drunk. The lawsuit contends the Defendants failed to “properly instruct, educate and supervise their employees to avoid selling alcoholic beverages to obviously intoxicated patrons.” Patrick Duffy, a lawyer from Sumner, Wash., represents the estate in the lawsuit.
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