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Family of crash victim sue Oregon bars

The family of a loved one that received catastrophic injuries from a drunk driving accident in March of 2010 is bringing personal injury litigation against those they feel are responsible -- and it's not just the driver.

In addition to naming the 31-year-old drunk driver as a defendant in the recently-filed $5 million lawsuit, the parents of the injured man are also going after two bars in Corvallis, Oregon that served the driver earlier in the night prior to the accident.

The drunk driver, who was eventually sentenced to 40 months behind bars and three additional years of supervision, visited two establishments before getting behind the wheel of his Jeep and heading south on Highway 99W. During his journey, the drunk driver allowed his vehicle to cross the centerline where it collided head-on with the victim's Chevrolet Cavalier.

The results were devastating and life-changing for the former standout track athlete. The man sustained permanent brain damage and now is now in an adult foster care facility where he can barely speak or walk. His fiancé has been beside him along the way, working with him. The victim, who was 20 years old during the accident, was a member of the track team at Lane Community College. That activity is now out of question for the permanently handicapped man, whose parents say the bars that served the drunk driver are just as responsible for his injuries.

The parents of the injured man pointed to a police report where authorities said the drunk driver was visibly drunk. This should have been reason enough for both bars to refuse to serve him. After all, an Oregon statute states that establishments are not to serve alcohol to someone who is already visibly intoxicated. The fact that the two establishments continued to serve the man contributed to the accident, according to the lawsuit.

A police report revealed that the man was eventually cut off at one bar before going to the other where he consumed three pints of beer before leaving.

Source: Corvallis Gazette-Times, "Parents of DUI crash victim file lawsuit against driver, Corvallis bars," March 20, 2012

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