$10.5 million verdict against Dallas club for woman killed by drunk driver

Posted
by Eric Pearson

The parents of a 23-year-old woman killed when she was struck by a “monster truck” in a Dallas gentlemen’s club parking lot have won a $10.5 million verdict against the driver and the club. Kasey McKenzie died in March 2011 after she was run over by a pickup truck in the parking lot of the Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club.

The driver of the truck, Eric Crutchfield, was unaware he had hit anyone until bystanders shouted and chased down the truck. Crutchfield failed a field sobriety test, and his blood alcohol concentration two hours after the incident was between .18 and .22—well over the legal limit.

The lawsuit alleged that the Spearmint Rhino club continued to serve alcohol to Crutchfield even though it was clear he was already intoxicated.

In the four hours he was at the club, Crutchfield was served at least 10 mixed drinks and shots. In his first hour at the club (25 percent of his time there), Crutchfield consumed at least five mixed drinks and shots, and a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission expert witness testified that his blood alcohol concentration would have been about .09 at that point. The plaintiffs argued that, at least during the next three hours, Crutchfield was obviously intoxicated to the point that he presented a clear danger, but that the servers either ignored or failed to look for the signs of intoxication. The plaintiffs argued that the club should be found 75 percent responsible for incident because the club continued to serve alcohol to Crutchfield for the remaining three hours he was the club.

The jury found that High Expectations, the owner of the club, was 70 percent responsible and that Crutchfield was 30 percent responsible. The jury awarded the plaintiffs $10,561,175.75. The award to the estate was $511,125.75, and the award to each parent was $5,025,000.

If you or someone you know has been injured or if you lost a loved one as a result of a drunk driver, a club, bar or restaurant may be partially responsible. You need an experienced and knowledgeable law firm that can guide you through the legal process and obtain maximum compensation on your behalf. Our lawyers approach every case with the assumption it will be tried to a jury. Whether it’s hiring the right experts, obtaining the necessary records, interviewing the key witnesses or helping our clients get the medical care they need, our meticulous attention to detail ensures that our clients achieve maximum value for their claim.

In addition, Heygood, Orr & Pearson is AV-rated, the highest legal and ethical rating available from the leading law firm rating service. Our partners Michael Heygood, Jim Orr, and Eric Pearson are all Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Heygood and Mr. Orr are additionally Board Certified in Civil Trial Advocacy Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our partners been voted by their peers as “Super Lawyers” in the state of Texas for several years in a row.*

Contact our attorneys for a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out the free case evaluation form located on this page.

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Michael Heygood, James Craig Orr, Jr. and Eric Pearson were selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication, for the years 2003 through 2013.