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Parents sue restaurant over drunk-driving death

Drunk-driving accidents are often tragic. That is especially the case when the victim is killed or seriously harmed by friends or loved ones who acted illegally and put the life of their passengers at risk.

A wrongful death suit has reportedly been filed by the parents of a 16-year-old Carbondale girl killed earlier this year in a drunk-driving accident in Glenwood Canyon. The parents are reportedly suing the restaurant that served the defendant alcohol, as well as an employee accused of serving the alcohol to the 18-year-old defendant, who was driving the vehicle at the time of the crash.  

Along with the 16-year-old and 18-year-old, a 24-year-old female was also in the vehicle. Their vehicle crashed head-on into a tractor trailer. Subsequent investigation revealed that the driver had a blood alcohol content of .241, which is three times the legal limit.

In the wrongful death complaint, the 16-year-old sophomore's parents say the restaurant employee "knowingly and unlawfully" served the 18-year-old alcohol. That employee has already pleaded no contest to charges of serving alcohol to a minor, and the restaurant faces the possibility of having its liquor license revoked.

The parents are seeking over $100,000 in damages, attorney fees and penalties. Not surprisingly, they have requested a jury trial. In a case like this, that's a smart move. In cases involving dram shop liability, such as this one, it is important to put together the best possible evidence of negligence. This isn't always easy, though, and it helps to work with an experienced attorney. 

Source: Aspen Daily News Online, "Parents of teen sue restaurant, employee over fatal car wreck," Chad Abraham, September 27, 2013. 

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