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Mix a strip club, a drunken patron, and a horrific monster truck accident, and you get a $10.5 million jury award.
The family of a woman received the award after a fatal accident in the parking lot of the Spearmint Rhino strip club in Dallas. The driver of a monster truck ran over 23-year-old Kasey McKenzie in March 2011.
McKenzie's family sued the strip club under Texas' dram shop law, and accused the club of serving way too much alcohol to the driver of the truck, reports NBC News.
In the lawsuit, Kasey McKenzie's family claimed that the driver of the truck was served more than 10 drinks and shots during his four hours at the club, according to NBC News.
Jurors were shown surveillance footage from inside the club. Lawyers for McKenzie's relatives argued that the driver was obviously intoxicated and that the bartender was aware of this as he continued to serve him alcohol.
The driver had a blood alcohol content more than twice the legal limit when he struck and killed McKenzie.
So why would the strip club be liable for the drunken monster truck driver's actions?
Under Texas' "dram shop" doctrine, restaurants, bars, and other establishments that sell alcohol may be held liable for drunken driving injuries and deaths if they served alcohol to a customer who was obviously drunk.
The plaintiff in a dram shop lawsuit typically has to show that alcohol was sold to the patron, that the club or bar knew that the patron was intoxicated, and that the intoxication caused injuries to someone else.
The surveillance video helped to prove some of those elements. And since the accident occurred in the club's parking lot, causation was probably not too difficult to prove.
Of note, the driver of the monster truck faced criminal charges and was convicted of manslaughter for killing Kasey McKenzie. He is currently serving a nine-year prison sentence.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
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