A Dallas jury has returned a $25 million wrongful death verdict against a Dallas nightclub and related parties, finding that the club served too much alcohol to a Dallas Cowboys player who later crashed his Mercedes, killing his friend and teammate Jerry Brown who was a passenger in the car in the 2012 accident.
In December 2018, jurors deliberated five hours before finding defendants associated with Beamers Private Club and the VIP section of the bar called ‘Privae Lounge’ were negligent in allowing former Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent to consume an excessive amount of alcohol. Authorities determined that Brent had at least 14 standard alcoholic beverages and his blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit when he left the north Dallas club with Brown and caused the fatal wreck minutes later.
Attorneys Charla Aldous and Brent Walker of Aldous\Walker LLP, with co-counsel Josh Bennett of Carter Arnett PLLC presented evidence during the trial detailing how Beamers employees continued to provide expensive “bottle service” to the high-profile guest and allowed him to leave the bar highly intoxicated.
“There’s a reason why Texas law holds bars accountable for injuries caused by overserved patrons,” Aldous said. “This establishment chose to continue serving this celebrity guest because he was buying expensive bottles and running up a large tab. No one bothered to consider the consequences when he got behind the wheel.”
Brent was reportedly driving 110 mph in a 45 mph zone when he flipped his Mercedes S60 on an Irving highway. Brown died from injuries in the crash. Jurors found Brent 48% responsible for causing the crash, while also holding the nightclub 48% responsible. The deceased Mr. Brown was found 4% responsible.
The case is Jerry Brown, Sr. et al. v Beamers Private Club et al. in the 191st Judicial District Court in Dallas County, Cause No. DC-13-13245. Beamers closed following the crash, and the business is now in bankruptcy proceedings.
Leaders In The Law covered a successful multimillion-dollar defense led by Carter Arnett in April 2018, which you can read here.