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Relatives file suit against bars for serving drunk driver

Family members of a victim who died in an alleged drunk driving wreck have filed dram shop suits against five local bars that served alcohol to the at-fault driver. The Connecticut family filed the suit in late April, and they are seeking compensation from five bars in Norwalk, Westport and Fairfield. These establishments could be held liable for as much as $250,000 in damages because of their relationship to the drunk driving accident.

Authorities say that the 25-year-old victim was driving with a friend when that person crashed his vehicle in September 2013. The victim suffered catastrophic injuries during the car accident. He eventually slipped into a coma and died after the collision.

The at-fault driver was apparently speeding and had an alarming blood alcohol level of 0.239 percent. That is nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent. That man is facing a variety of criminal allegations in connection with the accident; his next appearance in court is slated for late May.

The victim's father in this case alleges that the operators at the bars continued to serve the man even though he was obviously intoxicated. Family members allege that not only did the at-fault driver have a previous drunk driving conviction, but he also was known to drink alcohol to excess. Attorneys in the case say they are seeking massive damages for the family because of the expensive medical care required for the victim, who suffered horrifying injuries.

A lawsuit filed against the driver and his father has already been settled. Victims who suffer serious injury or death because of a drunk driver -- even if they are in the same car -- deserve financial compensation for their civil complaints. No individuals should have to be saddled with medical expenses and other related costs simply because they were innocent victims of a drunk driving accident.

Source: The Hour, "Fatal DUI accident victim's family seeks damages from local bars" Steve Kobak, May. 20, 2014

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