Michael Eaton had 17 beers plus other drinks before leaving a Gaithersburg, MD tavern on August 21, 2008, according to court records. Forty-five minutes later, he slammed his Range Rover into the back of a Jeep Cherokee at almost 98 mph.
Ten-year-old Jazimen Warr, sleeping in the back of the Cherokee, was killed and the rest of her family sustained injuries in the crash. Now, that crash could change Maryland law and allow victims of drunk-drivers and their families to sue bars and restaurants if their inebriated patrons cause deaths and injuries.
As reported in The Baltimore Sun, Jazimen’s grandparents have asked Maryland’s highest court Tuesday to revive their $3.25 million lawsuit against the Dogfish Head Alehouse, where Eaton, of Fairfax, Va., ran up his tab, some of which may have included drinks for other patrons. “If you’re going to load up somebody with liquor, at least be responsible so they don’t get behind the wheel,” said Rev. William Warr, Jazimen’s grandfather who, with his wife, Angela, were raising Jazimen and her older sister Cortavia Harris. Cortavia suffered a broken hip in the wreck. Dogfish Head Alehouse is fighting back, urging the Court of Appeals to reject the Warrs’ claim. An attorney representing the corporation that owns the tavern declined to comment on the case.