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Judge upholds $2.85 million verdict in Ohio drunk driving accident lawsuit

Anonymous • Jun 26, 2014 at 5:45 PM

The following story involving attorney Dennis Mulvihill, now with Wright & Schulte LLC, was posted today on the yourohiolegalhelp.com website:

Wright & Schulte LLC is pleased to announce that a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court judge upheld a $2.85 million jury verdict in favor of an Ohio drunk driving accident victim whose neck, arm and face were injured when the vehicle in which she was riding was rear-ended by a drunk driver on an Ohio highway in 2010. A Montgomery County Common Pleas Court jury found negligence on the part of the driver and The Living Room, where she worked as a dancer and where she became intoxicated. (Case No. 2010CV08476)

According to the complaint, the Plaintiff and her then-fiancé, who was driving the vehicle, were heading eastbound on I-70 in Montgomery County on July 4, 2010, when the dancer drove across three lanes of the highway and crashed into the rear end of the Plaintiff’s vehicle, pinning the vehicle against a retaining wall. The lawsuit alleges that the dancer was intoxicated due to drinking alcohol at The Living Room, which encourages dancers to drink while working. The suit purports that the club allows customers to pay for dancers’ drinks, which are priced higher than a customers’ drinks and this brings in more profits for the club.

“I am very gratified by Judge McGee’s decision to support the jury verdict in this case–holding The Living Room accountable for its business decision to put the public’s safety in jeopardy. Nichole was catastrophically injured. She was in a coma, endured 11 surgeries, has nearly 1 million dollars in medical bills, and her life will never be the same as a result of the callousness of the Living Room and its dancer,” states Dennis Mulvihill, now with the law firm Wright & Schulte who represented Johnson-Staeuble and who has in-depth experience in personal injury cases.

A victim services specialist for Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s (MADD) Southwestern Ohio Office, said strips clubs like The Living Room continue to pose a public danger — “Rather than seeing that their employees get home safe, these employers’ concern seems to be about profits not safety, not only for their employees but for the general public.” (To see related information, click HERE and HERE.)

In her recently released order, Judge Frances E. McGee overruled all of the club’s objections, including its contention that the dancer’s negligence should not be linked to the club and the magistrate presiding over the trial should have granted the club’s directed verdict motion regarding the Plaintiff’s negligence claim. The jury found the dancer and the The Living Room 50-percent negligent and ordered each to pay $1.42 million in compensatory damages. The dancer had to pay an additional $50,000 in punitive damages. The jury’s $2.85 million award to the Plaintiff includes $1.03 million for past and future medical expenses, $1.8 million in past and future pain and suffering and $15,200 for past lost wages.

The Norwalk Reflector reported in July 2013, that the Plaintiff and her fiancé went out to eat with friends and were returning home when the collision happened. The Plaintiff said her life has changed and she now suffers chronic pain from breaking her neck, right arm and most of the bones in her face as a result of the crash. Since the accident, she has undergone 11 surgeries, accumulated $866,000 in medical expenses, and pays $400 a month out of pocket for pain medications. The Plaintiff said she brought the civil lawsuit against the driver and the club to raise public awareness of the dangers of dancers drinking on the job. The club’s attorney said The Living Room does not plan to change any of its practices or policies as a result of the jury verdict. The article stated that the club’s owner testified during trial that The Living Room was not responsible for the dancer’s decision to drive drunk. And also stated, the club makes more than 50 percent of its profits from drinks that customers purchase for the dancers. The dancer was sentenced to six months in jail for drunk driving and vehicular assault, according to the July 14, 2013 article. (NOTE: To read the article, click HERE.)

The personal injury attorneys at Wright & Schulte LLC represent victims who have been seriously injured in accidents involving drunk drivers. If you, or someone you love, have been injured as a result of a drunk driver’s negligence, you may be eligible to file your own negligence lawsuit. Contact Wright & Schulte LLC today for a free case evaluation available through www.yourohiolegalhelp.com or by calling (937) 222-7477.

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