Joyce & Reyes Personal Injury Attorney Explains Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Alleged Drunk Driver and Clearwater Nightclub
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.
Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
View Larger Map
- Final pill mill suspect arrested
The final suspect accused of crimes related to a now defunct pain clinic has been arrested by the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Presmil Masson Jr. was arrested June 1 on six counts of manslaughter and two counts of racketeering. Pam Bondi, the Attorney General of Florida, had announced previously that eight people had been charged in […]
- Tampa woman sues Tampa Police Department over brain injury
The Tampa Police Department was sued by a Tampa woman who alleges that a police officer slammed her head into the pavement in a 2014 incident, causing a serious brain injury. According to the complaint filed in federal court, Rachel Stockwell, then a student at the University of Tampa, had to leave school due to […]
- Former pill mill owner arrested
A former physician of a now-defunct Florida pain clinic and the former owner of the clinic are facing charges related to the trafficking of Oxycodone. Christian Spaw was arrested on charges of conspiracy, trafficking, racketeering and manslaughter in connection to drug purchases and sales allegedly made while operating All Family Medical, a Broward County pain […]
- Bicycle accident deaths on the rise
In Florida and nationwide, the number of deaths in bicycle accidents is rising. Advocates say bicycle safety needs to be improved. According to a new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, the number of bicycle fatalities rose by 16 percent between 2010 and 2012. There were 621 bicycle deaths in 2010, 680 in 2011 […]
- Study finds traumatic brain injury can accelerate atrophy of the brain
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can accelerate the rate of brain atrophy, according to a new study published in the Annals of Neurology. According to the study, the brains of patients with TBI were estimated to be older than their actual chronological age. The study examined patients who had suffered brain injuries from car accidents, falls, […]