A 17-year-old teenager lost her life in a drunk driving accident in March, according to Fox 8. The teen had been doing some last minute Easter shopping when her vehicle overheated, forcing her to pull over onto the right shoulder of the road on Interstate 76. It was approximately 2:15 AM and she contacted a friend to pick her up and was waiting by the side of the road.
She was in the car with the flashers on when a driver in a 2015 Chevy Equinox struck the back of her vehicle. The police detected alcohol on the breath of the driver of the Equinox, and he was found to have a blood alcohol concentration of .2014, which is more than twice the legal limit.
The airbag in the girls' car did not deploy and she was transported to Summa Akron City Hospital, where she died due to blunt force trauma affecting the neck and head. The driver of the Equinox is facing criminal charges and the family of the victim sued him. The girl's family also sued an Akron bar where the man had been consuming alcohol, as well as several employees who provided him with liquor.
In Ohio, the law allows for a bar to be sued under certain circumstances. Ohio Revised Code 4399.18 indicates that an establishment with a liquor license (like a bar or a restaurant) can be held responsible for personal injury or wrongful death caused by the negligent actions of an intoxicated person which occur on its premises. It can also be sued for negligent actions of an intoxicated person which occur away from its premises if the permit holder or any of its employees knowingly sold an intoxicated beverage to someone who is noticeably intoxicated or to someone who is underage, and the intoxication of the person who the alcoholic beverage was sold to was the proximate cause of injury or death.
The family of the teen who was killed claims the bar employees were aware of the fact the man who hit their daughter was drunk, yet they gave him alcohol despite the fact he was noticeably intoxicated. They allege the driver's intoxication were the direct or proximate cause of the girl's death, and the bar and employees are thus responsible.
Suing a bar after a drunk driving accident is a common practice, because the bar may have more money or insurance coverage available to pay for damages and losses. By taking legal action against the establishment where the alcohol was served, the family of the victim or the injured party ensures they can get the compensation they need to pay for car accident losses and damages.