» Joyce & Reyes Personal Injury Attorney Explains Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Alleged Drunk Driver and Clearwater Nightclub

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
Call: 813.251.2007


View Larger Map

  • Pinellas Sheriff’s Office settles wrongful death lawsuit for Over One Million Dollars
    The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has paid $1.15 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit with the estate of a mentally ill woman who died in the Pinellas County jail after refusing medicine and food. The payment has settled all state and federal claims against the jail and its employees. Michael DeGraw filed suit over […]
  • Patients ER Visits for Brain Injuries Increase
    According to a new medical report, visits to hospital emergency rooms for brain injuries have increased in recent years. The report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, studied emergency department visits from a nationwide sample of hospitals from 2006 to 2010. During that period, the number of total emergency room visits grew […]
  • Pill Mill Doctor in Florida Sentenced to 18 Years Imprisonment
    State authorities have announced that a South Florida doctor has received an 18 year prison sentence for his participation in a “pill mill” scheme. Attorney General Pam Bondi said that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office collaborated with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to bring the “dangerous drug dealer” to justice. Dr. Thomas Rodenberg was found […]
  • Study Shows Teenage Brain Injuries Have Lasting Negative Effects
    The specific long-lasting effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) – whether due to accidents, high-impact sports or other causes – are difficult to pin down. From concussion-related lawsuits brought against the National Football League, specialists know that TBI is often correlated with depression, dementia and cognitive impairment. Scientific research into the field is complex and, […]
  • Uber, Lyft Come to Tampa, but Insurance and Liability Questions Are Sure to Follow
    Lyft and Uber, two services that provide access to vehicles for hire via smartphone apps, recently began operating in Tampa. This is despite staunch opposition from industry and regulators. Taxi and limo operators want the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission to ticket the companies’ drivers for what they say are violations of local laws. Meanwhile, […]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required