Attorneys Shawn Howard and Karl Gwaltney obtained a $1.3 million settlement for the family of a Charlotte man killed by a drunk driver. The bulk of the settlement came from the bar that served the drunk driver, who also died in the crash.
The victim was transporting his elderly mother from Michigan when the crash occurred. She survived significant injuries including bilateral ankle fractures. The drunk driver, whose blood alcohol concentration was .19, was traveling the wrong way on Interstate 77 near Statesville. The family did not initially pursue a lawsuit due to the degree of devastation the crash caused.
Our attorneys conducted a thorough investigation of the drunk driver, including her phone and credit card records. The driver’s personal records offered little information of use to the investigation, but a co-worker provided much-need direction. Ultimately, we identified the establishment that served her 7 drinks over 2 hours. Even with the number of drinks she consumed in the short period, a toxicology expert opined the drinks were likely stronger than the standard.
We’ve written extensively on Dram Shop liability claims on our site and the importance of holding all parties accountable. Pursuing the establishments that provide alcohol negligently is an important part of providing relief to the families effected by drunk drivers. Often the insurance policies of the drivers themselves offer shockingly little. Therefore, holding all parties accountable is not only just, but necessary for financial recovery.
The name of the victims, drunk driver and bar will remain confidential under the $1.3 million settlement.