Dram shop suit seeks $200k in damages

Kelly Holleran Sep. 4, 2008, 7:40am

John Littlefield and Stacy Miller have filed suit against Cecelia Krone and Top Shooter's, Inc., alleging Littlefield was damaged in an accident while he was a passenger in Krone's vehicle.

Littlefield claims he and Krone were at Top Shooters on Sept. 15 and 16, 2007, according to a complaint filed Sept. 2 in Madison County Circuit Court.

He claims he was of legal drinking age, but Krone was not yet 21-years-old at the time of the incident.

Krone became intoxicated from the beverages she was served while at Top Shooters, the complaint states.

Littlefield fell asleep and passed out at the bar sometime throughout the night, according to the suit.

In the early morning of Sept. 16, bartenders at Top Shooters carried and assisted Littlefield to Krone's vehicle, but failed to restrain him with a seatbelt, he and Miller claim.

Krone began driving her vehicle on Interstate 255 with Littlefield as a passenger, the complaint states.

She was trying to merge onto Interstate 270 west, but lost control of her vehicle, causing it to overturn multiple times, according to the suit.

Littlefield and Miller claim Littlefield was ejected from the vehicle and that Krone's blood alcohol content was above the legal limit for operating a vehicle.

He claims he sustained serious, painful, disabling and permanent injuries to his head, brain and body, including a fractured skull, facial fractures, a fractured right femur, a dislocated left kneecap, paralysis and a closed head injury.

He also claims he has been confined to a wheelchair and his speech has been altered.

He claims he has and will continue to be required to pay medical costs.

He also claims he has lost wages, a loss of earning capacity and will be unable to obtain employment.

Miller, Littlefield's mother, claims she sustained damages, including injury to her property, loss of society and loss of means of support.

Miller and Littlefield claim Krone was negligent because she operated a vehicle under the influence of alcohol after consuming alcoholic beverages, operated the vehicle with a blood alcohol content level above the legal limit, operated the motor vehicle at an excessive rate of speed, failed to keep a careful and adequate look out, and failed to exercise the appropriate standard of care.

They claim Top Shooter had a duty to protect Littlefield and that the bar was negligent because it cast Littlefield into the hands of an individual that was extremely intoxicated and incapable of operating a motor vehicle, failed to protect Littlefield from Krone's criminal activity of driving while intoxicated, failed to restrain Littlefield with a seatbelt and provide alternative transportation for Littlefield.

In the four-count suit, Littlefield and Miller are seeking a judgment in excess of $200,000, court costs and other relief the Court deems just.

They are represented by James G. Onder and David L. Grebel of Onder, Shelton, O'Leary & Peterson in St. Louis.

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