POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A New Jersey woman who suffered severe injuries in a head-on collision with an alleged drunken driver last summer has filed a lawsuit against a Point Pleasant Beach bar.
The lawsuit filed in Middlesex County against Martell’s Tiki Bar in Point Pleasant Beach says they should have known 26-year old Ashley Chieco, of Wood-Ridge, was drunk when they kept serving her in mid-August, WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported.
“Here’s a bar that provides you the bullets in terms of alcohol and then in this case, gave this girl the gun that wasn’t even her gun,” attorney Paul Edelstein told Putney. “That happened by way of the bar allowing it to happen.”
Police said Chieco ended up taking someone else’s car out of the valet lot, drove off and – 40 miles later – ran head-on into 55-year old Dana Corrar.
Corrar suffered severe trauma, has undergone numerous surgeries and now lives in an assisted living center.
Chieco died in the collision.
Edelstein, who’s representing Corrar, said they’re suing for compensatory and punitive damages.
“Even though we named Ashley’s estate in this suit, we really view her, in part, as a victim of the negligence of the bar just as much as Dana was.” Edelstein said. “Ashley had some responsibility, obviously, with respect to her own drinking. But after that, she’s a victim of the very same negligence that Dana is in terms of this bar placing a loaded gun in her hands, which is a car that wasn’t even hers.”
The collision happened on Route 18 South around 6 p.m. on Aug. 16, according to authorities.
The medical examiner determined Chieco was over the legal limit at the time of her death.
Edelstein said the bar failed to monitor the situation, which caused unreasonable risk of harm to the public.
“You think maybe they could have a guy outside to make sure you don’t get in a stolen car? You think maybe they could have a car service parked outside for a couple hundred bucks a night to say ‘we’ll escort you back to your house if you’re too drunk to get back, we’ll call you a cab?'” he told Putney. “It’s gotta be prevented from happening before it begins.”
A man who answered the phone at Martell’s on Friday said they’re not taking any calls and refused to comment on the lawsuit.
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