News reports that a Menlo Park man who suffered serious personal injuries in a drunk driving accident has sued Hobo Limousines, Inc. for it's role in providing a "party bus" that allowed minors to drink for 4-hours during a "booze-cruise." In February 2010 after a 21st birthday celebration aboard a party-bus, a minor - 19-year-old Brett Studebaker - got behind the wheel and crash into a car driven by Gregory Hinman. Studebaker died in the drunk driving accident and Hinman suffered permanent brain damage and broken bones.
As a result of the crash, Assemblyman Jerry Hill has proposed legislation making drivers, companies and riders responsible for preventing underage drinking on party busses.
In many situations, more than one party may be at fault for causing an accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident it is important to consult with an experienced Sacramento personal injury attorney to begin an investigation into all of the causes of a particular incident in order to ensure you obtain all the compensation you deserve.
Here, the parties dispute who is at fault for the underage drinking. The company asserts that the people onboard were drinking prior to getting on the bus, but not during the ride, and that parents signed a contract agreeing that minors wouldn't be drinking. Conversely, the parents of Brett Studebaker blame the company asserting that it's the driver's responsibility to ensure that no minors were drinking while on the party bus and that the driver added to the drinking by providing a bottle of champagne.
Because California is a comparative law state, each party who has caused or contributed an injury may be held responsible. Where more than one defendant is found to blame, each party may be held liable for a percentage of the total.
This accident is a tragic reminder of the dangers of drinking and driving. What was meant as a celebratory party ended in heartbreak for two families.
For more information or if you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash or any other type of personal injury accident, contact a dedicated Sacramento personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Frederick J. Sette for a free, confidential consultation.