A fatal crash caused by a drunk driver in 2010 has resulted in two civil lawsuits and a hefty fine for a Keene, New Hampshire, bar, according to The Keene Sentinel, a local newspaper.
Both the family of the man who was killed in the accident, Nicholas Smith, and his passenger, Thomas Baybutt, who was injured, have sued the establishment, claiming that they are liable for overserving the patron.
The drunk driver, Samuel Masterson, also died in the crash, which occurred around 1:30 a.m. on October 17, 2010 when his vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic on Route 9 and struck Smith's car head on.
Masterson had been drinking earlier in the evening at McCue's Billiards and Sports Lounge. In testimony before the New Hampshire Liquor Commission, bartenders and servers reported that the 30-year-old patron had been cut off around 10:30 p.m. and escorted from the bar just before midnight. However, witnesses reported seeing Masterson in front of at least two other area establishments before 12:45 a.m. though it was unclear whether or not he was served at any of them. From that time until the accident, the man was unaccounted for.
The lawyer for McCue's reportedly said in his closing arguments to the Liquor Commission, "At best, the petitioner has only proved there is a possibility of a problem."
The New Hampshire board instead found that the bar had overserved Masterson in the case, suspending its liquor license for three days and imposing a $500 fine. The two civil cases brought by the victims have not yet reached trial, but if the bar is found liable, it would reportedly owe millions of dollars to the plaintiffs.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an alcohol-related accident, a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer can help argue your case and seek any damages to which you may be entitled.