North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit Seeks Damages from Four Asheville Bars Over Fatal Car Crash

October 16, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

A year after a drunk driver killed Mandie Kirkconnell in an Asheville car crash, her estate is suing four bars for her North Carolina wrongful death. Kirkconnell suffered fatal injuries on October 2, 2010 when her vehicle was hit by a car driven by Jennifer Kessler, whose BAC at the time was .262%. That’s more than three times above the .08% legal limit. The 26-year-old later pleaded guilty to driving while impaired, felony death by vehicle, and reckless driving to endanger.

The defendants in this North Carolina wrongful death complaint are The Orange Peel, Highland Brewing Co., Temptations Red Room, and Sazerac. Per the civil lawsuit, employees at Highland Brewing, where Kessler first stopped, either should have known or already knew that she was drunk when they served her drinks. She drank more alcohol at the other three bars.

There is a North Carolina statute that bars establishments with Alcoholic Beverage Control permits from knowingly giving or selling alcohol to anyone who is ‘intoxicated.” Also, when third party ended up getting hurt or dying in a drunk driving accident because an establishments sold alcohol to minors or an already intoxicated persons, the state allows for the latter to be held liable through North Carolina personal injury and wrongful death complaints. Recovery is limited to $500,000.

Drunk Driving
According to a paper recently published by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers, even though drunk driving appears to have gone down 30% in the last five years, about 4 million Americans still acknowledge to having at least once driven while under the influence of alcohol. This has led to 112 million alcohol impaired driving-related incidents and thousands of deaths. That’s still 1/3rd of all driving deaths.

Telephone survey data was used by the CDC used telephone survey data to put together its drunk driving figures for 2010. Among its latest statistics:

• 81% of drunk driving incidents involved men.
• 85% of those involved in impaired driving incidents have engaged in binge drinking.
• People who didn’t consistently use seat belts were four times more likely to drive drunk.

The CDC researchers’ report can be found in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Drunk driving can cause devastating injuries for those involved. It makes no sense for lives to be lost and families destroyed because someone decided to get into a car and drive. You may have a Charlotte, North Carolina car accident case against a drunk driver or the party/parties that served the motorist alcohol or allowed him/her to drive while intoxicated.

Medical expenses, lost wages, lost benefits, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, and funeral and cremation expenses can take a financial toll on the lives of victims and loved ones. There is no reason why you have to foot these burdens alone. Making the responsible parties pay is also a way to hold them accountable for their actions.

Lawsuit seeks damages in fatal drunk driving crash in Asheville, Citizen Times, October 13, 2011

Drunk driving down, still a factor in a third of crash deaths, Los Angeles Times, October 4, 2011

Related Web Resources:

Social Host Liability, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC

More Blog Posts:
Horrific DUI North Carolina School Bus Accident Raises Troubling Questions, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, May 27, 2011

DWI Driver Seriously Hurts Eight People in North Carolina Auto Accident, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyer Blog, May 12, 2011

Former News Anchor Tolly Carr Settles North Carolina Wrongful Death Lawsuit with Family of Man Killed in Drunk Driving Accident, North Carolina Injury Lawyers Blog, November 24, 2008


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