Columbia bar sued over intoxicated person's accident

Kelly Holleran Nov. 6, 2008, 10:30am

A Columbia woman has filed suit against a Columbia bar on behalf of her minor son, alleging his right leg was broken after an intoxicated patron left the bar and collided with the vehicle in which her son was riding.

Julie Russell claims Brent Russell was the passenger in a vehicle traveling on Route 3 on Nov. 2, 2007, when Eric Vice drove "at an excessive rate of speed, failed to yield and collided into the vehicle in which Plaintiff was a passenger," the complaint filed Oct. 30 in St. Clair County Circuit Court states.

Vice had been drinking alcoholic beverages at Topshooters before the accident occurred, according to the suit.

In addition to his broken leg, Julie claims Brent received injuries to his right ankle, his right and left knees and all of the ligaments, tendons and connective tissue in his ankles, legs and knees, plus mental anguish and emotional distress.

Because of Brent's injuries, the Russell family incurred medical expenses in excess of $50,000, according to the complaint.

Julie suffered the loss of her son's services and has been deprived of his society, fellowship, cooperation, affection and companionship, the suit states.

They claim Topshooters was responsible because of provisions in the Dramshop Act, which states that action may be taken after any person sustains injuries.

The action can be brought against any person or company selling the liquor that caused the intoxication of the person, the suit states.

In the three-count suit, Russell is seeking a judgment in excess of $179,000, plus costs.

Gerry Schneller, Eric Holland, Steven Stolze and Steven Groves of Holland, Groves, Schneller and Stolze in St. Louis are representing her.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-555.

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