Family Awarded $301 Billion From Bar That Overserved Drunk Driver In Largest Penalty Ever

A jury in Corpus Christi, Texas has awarded the family of a teenager and her grandmother who were killed by a drunk driver $301 billion, in what has been declared the largest penalty ever for such crime.

The jury found Beer Belly's Sports Bar guilty of overserving Joshua Delbosque, who in November 2017 killed 16-year-old Aujuni Tamay Anderson and her 59-year-old grandmother Tamra Kay Kindred, local news station KIII reported.

Kindred was headed home after picking up Anderson from her job at a local pizza place when Delbosque, who was driving 91 miles per hour, blew a red light and struck them with his car, another local Corpus Christi news station, KRIS-TV, reported. Kindred, Anderson, and Delbosque were all killed in the crash.

drunk driver
A Texas bar was found responsible and ordered to pay a local family billions of dollars after overserving a man who killed a grandmother and granddaughter while drunk driving. The above stock image shows lights flashing on a police cruiser at night. iStock

The family's legal team said the bar served Delbosque "at least" 11 alcoholic drinks that night, according to KRIS, and he left the establishment with a blood alcohol concentration level of .263—far above the Texas legal limit of .08. Carlton Erickson, a pharmacologist who spoke before the jury, said 50 percent of people are unconscious at .3, meaning Delbosque lacked the skills "necessary" to avoid the collision.

"Beer Belly's clearly was trading money for the safety of their patrons and the public by continuing to serve an obviously intoxicated customer," John Flood, lead lawyer for the Kindred/Anderson family, said in a release obtained by local media outlets.

The legal team said that despite the vast size of the penalty, the family does not expect to receive a single dollar of the earnings. Rather, they hope that by having pursued this litigation, bars will take greater responsibility in taking an active role in preventing their patrons from getting behind the wheel.

"The purpose of the civil litigation is to remind the community, the State, and the Nation, of the horrific costs of drunk driving and the bars that irresponsibly over serve their customers. The family hopes and prays that the jury's verdict persuades bar owners, bartenders and other alcohol servers that they must follow Texas law and never serve alcohol to an already intoxicated person," the legal team said in their release.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunk driving kills about 28 people in the United States every day. It estimates that roughly one-third of all fatal traffic incidents include a drunk driver. For incidents of drunk driving that are caught by police, first-time offenders can pay upwards of $10,000 in fines and legal fees, the administration writes.