Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg sued for enabling drunk driving
The family of a 10-year-old girl who was killed two years ago by a drunk driver sued Gaithersburg's Dogfish Head Alehouse Monday holding the bar responsible for the accident.
The plantiff's attorney said the goal is not extract damages from Gaithersburg-based JMGM Group, which runs the bar. But instead to change Maryland law, which exempts bars from being held legally liable for serving drunk customers.
The drunk driver who started all this is a Michael Eaton. Two years ago, he came to the Gaithersburg bar and over six hours accumulated a long bar tab that included 17 bottles of Corona, two "Lemon Drop" shots, and a shot of tequila, according to police records. (He purchased drinks for himself and others, according to police).
He sped out of the bar on his Range Rover and smashed into a Jeep, killing the 10-year-old girl in the back, Jazimen Warr.
He eventually plead guilty to vehicular manslaughter and is now serving an eight-year sentence.
But on Monday, the Warr family filed a multi-million lawsuit in Montgomery County Circuit Court charging the company with enabling Eaton's heavy drinking.
The family's attorney, Andrew Bederman, told the Washington Post that in Maryland bars cannot be held responsible for the actions of their customers after they've left the bar.
But he hopes the lawsuit will create an avenue for the families of victims of drunk driving to make such claims in the future. (via)Post updated for clarification. Photo: Dogfish Head Ales.