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$1 MILLION FOR WRONG WAY FATAL ON I-45

On June 29, 2012 a call came to units from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department Dispatcher warning of a driver going north in the southbound lanes of I-45 near Reasearch.  Almost before before Shenandoah Police had time to react the a massive crash took place. Nicole Nadra Baukus, 23 of Spring who had a blood alcohol of  .286, almost four times the legal limit   hit vehicle head-on.  That vehicle was occupied with three people. The driver Nicole Adams one of her passengers Ryan Saunders were killed. David Parras was severely injured.

Two charges of Intoxication Manslaughter and one count of Intoxication Assault were filed on Baukus. Her trial is set to begin in May. She could receive up to 20-years in prison for each charge.

On the Rox Sports Bar and Grill who had last served Baukus was held liable. Even the in house security video backed up the claim that Baukus had been over served the night of the crash. Rox was sued for violating the Texas Dram Shop Liability Act. That act provides a cause of action against any establishment that serves alcohol to someone who shows  obvious signs of intoxication.

A dramshop is any type of drinking establishment where liquor is sold for consumption on the premises, such as a bar, a saloon, or, in some cases, a restaurant. Under dramshop acts, the seller of liquor can be sued by an individual who is injured by an intoxicated person. Such acts protect the injured third party not only against personal injuries and property damages resulting directly from the actions of the intoxicated individual (such as those resulting from drunken driving or Assault and Battery) but also against the loss of family support owing to such injuries. Generally, the person who became intoxicated cannot sue the seller if she or he is injured, nor can any active participant in the drinking.

The dramshop laws are based on the principle that anyone who profits from the sale of alcoholic beverages should be held liable for any resulting damages. For a seller to be held liable, it is unnecessary to show that he or she is negligent, provided it is proved that the seller sold liquor to a habitual drunkard or a person who was already drunk, which is generally illegal in itself.

Dramshop acts originated in the Temperance Movement of the mid-1800s. In Illinois, for example, the first such law was passed in 1872 and amended in subsequent decades.

The Insurance Company for The Rox located in the 500 block of Sawdust settled the suit for $1 million to be split three ways between Parras, and the estates of Adams and Saunders.

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Craven

    These tragedies will continue only until first DWI is a mandatory 90 day sentence. There can be no more slaps on the wrist. I’m sorry if you like to get lit and drive, but this has to stop. People need to face real months-long, life changing jail time on a first offense, and for this woman, she should get three 20 year sentences to run consecutively. Harsher penalties will change behavior, it is just going to take some time.

  2. RonWheeler

    This total sum is actually very little for 3 deaths. Let’s consider the Atty’s are receiving 40% plus additional costs making their earnings about
    $480,000. Then u split the rest three ways n the victim families receive about $170,000 apiece.
    This was a great settlement for the Insurance Co n the Atty’s. It is an awfully low settlement for the families n what they have suffered.

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