In Georgia, if a drunk driver injures you, then you can sue a bar or liquor store that knowingly served the intoxicated individual. In Philadelphia, a wrongful death lawsuit shows that a victim may have grounds to sue even more responsible parties.
A Bucks County wrongful death lawsuit has named illegal immigrant Jose Esteban Maldonado Luzuriaga, Salute Restaurant and Bar, and Luzuriaga’s former employer Green Tree Landscape.
In 2008, Luzuriaga, 36, ran down and killed William Sullo III, 30, after Luzuriaga was kicked out of the bar for being visibly intoxicated. Luzuriaga slammed his Green Tree Landscape company pickup truck against Sullo and pinned the employee against a wall. Luzuriaga is now serving a 40-year sentence for murder.
Sullo’s family is suing Luzuriaga, the landscape company, and the bar. The suit seeks over $50,000 in damages for Sullo’s sister and over $50,000 in damages for his parents.
According to Luzuriaga’s guilty plea, he had been refused more alcohol because he was visibly drunk. He then started a fight with patrons in the parking lot. Sullo and another employee intervened. Luzuriaga then got in his Green Tree Landscape truck, a Ford F150, and proceeded to hit the accelerator, pinning Sullo against the building. Police reports showed that Luzuriaga had a blood alcohol content of 0.17 at the time of the incident. The legal limit for driving is 0.08.
According to the lawsuit, the owners of the landscape company knew that Luzuriaga was not a legal resident but gave him a truck anyway. Further, the lawsuit claims that Green Tree Landscape owners knew their employee had a history of driving drunk and a history of anger management problems and violent tendencies. The suit claims that the landscape company was negligent in supervising and empowering Luzuriaga with the company vehicle.
The lawsuit claims that the bar was negligent because they served Luzuriaga while he was visibly intoxicated, failed to prevent other patrons from supplying Luzuriaga with alcohol, and failed to hire adequate security.
After Luzuriaga serves his murder sentence, he will be deported. Sullo’s family will probably never see any money from him, if they win the case. Fortunately, they can sue other parties that contributed to the drunk driving homicide.
In Georgia, drunk drivers and other contributing parties (such as bars and restaurants) may be held accountable for their recklessness and negligence in DUI injuries and wrongful deaths. Those who encourage drunk driving are just as liable as those who commit the crime.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a drunk driver in Georgia, contact a attorney immediately to discuss your legal rights and options. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule your free consultation.