Joyce & Reyes Personal Injury Attorney Explains Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Alleged Drunk Driver and Clearwater Nightclub
Feb 19, 2014
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) February 19, 2014 – The parents of a woman killed by an allegedly drunk driver are suing the driver and the nightclub where he worked.
In the early morning hours of September 2, 2013, Christopher Patrick Weed left Shephard’s Beach Resort in Clearwater, Florida after finishing his shift as a “bar back.” According to the lawsuit, he had consumed “numerous” alcoholic beverages over the several hours previous. At about 6 a.m., on Clearwater Memorial Causeway, Weed struck and killed Rob Lemon, 25, and his girlfriend, Hilary Michalak, 27, who were riding a tandem bicycle.
Tampa personal injury attorney Robert Joyce, who is not involved in the lawsuit, explained its content.
“The lawsuit against the driver is pretty straightforward,” said Mr. Joyce. “He admitted to striking the two bicyclists the day after the accident. It was too late to get a blood alcohol reading on him, but apparently, there are witnesses to his drinking that night. The lawsuit against the nightclub, however, is trickier. The plaintiffs claim Shephard’s violated Florida’s ‘dram shop’ law, which holds businesses liable for selling alcohol to ‘habitually addicted’ individuals who then go on to cause injury or damage.”
The lawsuit claims Weed is a “habitual drunkard” who repeatedly consumed alcohol while working and goes on to say that his co-workers knew or should have known he was drunk when he left work. The suit also states that Shephard’s violated “accepted practices” by allowing staff members to drink while working.
Lemon died the day of the accident. Michalak died after nearly three weeks in a coma at St. Petersburg’s Bayfront Health hospital. Michalak’s family, who filed the lawsuit, seeks damages exceeding $15,000 to cover medical and funeral expenses. The Lemon family has not said whether they will join the lawsuit.
At least two other drivers have caused serious auto accidents after leaving Shephard’s. In April 2009, Joshua West left Shephard’s and crashed into Andrew Hall, severing Hall’s leg. West’s blood alcohol level was 0.188. In August 2002, Wayne Massmann veered off the Memorial Causeway after leaving Shephard’s. Two passengers escaped the car after it plunged into the water, but Massmann, who was ejected from the vehicle onto the bridge, was killed.
Learn more at http://www.joyceandreyespa.com
Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
- Florida Pill Mill Doctor Receives 30-Year Prison Sentence
A Florida Panhandle doctor has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for operating a “pill mill” (a center for the inappropriate or non-medical distribution of narcotics). Dr. Robert L. Ignasiak, 58, was known as “Dr. Bob” in Freeport, Florida. For a period of several years, he worked as the only physician in town. Ignasiak […]
- Following Pill Mill Crackdown, South Florida Doctor Explains Alternative Treatments for Chronic Pain in New Documentary
Florida has made strong progress in driving unethical pill mill doctors and drug dealers from the state, but many Floridians still suffer from chronic pain. A new documentary from the Discovery Channel features a South Florida doctor who says drug addiction and pain management often go hand in hand. Dr. Melanie Rosenblatt is director of […]
- In a Rear-End Collision, How Might the Lead Driver Share in the Responsibility?
A young man died while driving his pickup truck on U.S. 19 when he rear-ended a fully-loaded dump truck, police said. The auto accident occurred shortly after 2 a.m. just north of Klosterman Road in Tarpon Springs. Tarpon Springs police said Joshua Saunders was northbound on U.S. 19 when he collided with the dump truck, […]
- Families Turn to Hidden Cameras to Uncover Nursing Home Abuse
A recent article in the New York Times covers the growing use of some high technology in curtailing nursing home abuse: hidden cameras. Reporter Jan Hoffman tells the story of 96-year-old Eryetha Mayberry, an Oklahoma City nursing home resident with dementia. Mayberry’s daughter, Doris Racher, noticed that a few of her mother’s belongings had gone […]
- U.S. Sees First Increase in Auto Accident Fatalities Since 2005
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released a finalized report on motor vehicle crashes and fatalities in 2012. Following six consecutive years of declines in fatalities, the United States saw a 3.3 percent increase in 2012. On the nation’s roads, 33,561 people lost their lives in 2012, compared with the 32,479 who died […]