Rasansky Law Firm has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Tarrant County state court on behalf of a woman’s family who had the their mother, wife and daughter tragically stolen from them by the reckless, drunken driving of an off-duty Fort Worth police officer.
In the early morning of Friday, December 11, 2009, Sonia Baker was on her way to pick up breakfast for her family before going to work as a dialysis technician. At the same time, off-duty Fort Worth police officer, Jesus Cisneros was leaving a popular Fort Worth bar, the Pour House. With a blood alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit, Cisneros tore the residential neighborhood at speeds in excess of 70 mph. Tragedy struck whenever he collided with Baker’s car, killing her and leaving a mangled mess of metal and glass.
Not only was Cisneros allowed to continue drinking at the Pour House while visibly intoxicated, but he was also believed to be drinking while on undercover bar detail at several other bars throughout the night. Even worse, he was driving a city-owned vehicle while he drove around partying and carousing throughout the night; his responsibilities as an officer and city employee completely disregarded.
Who’s legally responsible?
Cisneros, who has been suspended in the past for alcohol problems, will be tried in court for alcohol manslaughter. If justice is served, he will be put in jail, where he belongs.
The lawsuit has been filed against the Pour House, which according to state Dram shop law, failed to monitor and discontinue serving alcohol to Cisneros once he became dangerously inebriated.
Under Texas law, any establishment that fails to monitor and stop serving an obviously intoxicated individual is to be held responsible for that person’s actions after they leave their establishment, and may be held liable for their portion of responsibility should a drunk driving accident occur as a result.
Any employee in the state of Texas that serves alcohol of any kind must pass a course given by the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission. These classes explicitly state that any bar and its employees that over serve a patron is ultimately responsible for this person once they leave the establishment.
The Pour House was fully aware of the consequences of allowing a patron to over indulge and leave their premises behind the wheel of a vehicle.
The Pour House put profit over safety and continued to serve Cisneros after he was visibly intoxicated and then allowed, and according to some witness accounts, was even encouraged, him to leave the bar while stumbling out the door.
This 27-year-old woman leaves behind a loving husband, two beautiful children and her mother, who had lost here husband less than six months before.
The pain and suffering that has been caused this family could have and should have been avoided, but because of the greed and negligence of a few individuals, these children will grow up without a mother and her husband will have to spend the rest of his life asking why this happened to the love of his life.
If you feel that you had a loved one injured or taken from you because of the negligence of another or the negligence of an establishment such as the Pour House, don’t hesitate to contact a Dallas personal injury attorney at the Rasansky Law Firm at 214-651-6100, or fill out a free case evaluation form today.