DALLAS from www.courthousenews.com – – A Dallas jury ordered a strip club to pay $10.5 million to the family of a woman who was run over by a monster truck driven by a drunken patron.
Kasey McKenzie was killed in March 17, 2011, after Eric Brent Crutchfield [pictured] drank too much at the Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club and then tried to drive away in his truck.
“At approximately 2:18 a.m., Kasey McKenzie was walking eastbound through the parking lot of Rhino’s in Dallas when Crutchfield pulled forward out of a parking space and ran over Kasey Mckenzie with both the right front and rear tires,” according to the family’s complaint.
“A blood sample was also obtained from Crutchfield after his arrest for intoxication manslaughter.”
At the time, Crutchfield’s blood alcohol content was allegedly twice the legal limit of 0.08.
“Crutchfield, who had a suspended driver’s license, was driving a custom Silver 2003 Ford F-250 truck equipped with a lift kit which raised the frame several feet, limiting visibility,” the complaint stated.
“The headlamps of the truck were defective because the base of the lamps was approximately 72 inches from the pavement, 18 inches above both federal and states regulation.”
The family said Spearmint Rhino should have recognized within three to four hours of Crutchfield’s presence there that he was drunk and a danger to himself and others.
“Rhino defendants, without offering to arrange alternate transportation for Crutchfield, then allowed Crutchfield to get into his vehicle and attempt to drive away from their premises while severely intoxicated,” the complaint stated.
The family accused the club of failing to offer bartenders and servers in-house training programs, despite the availability of such offerings from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
The jury assigned 70 percent of the blame on the club and 30 percent on Crutchfield, according to a charge of the court filed on Feb. 19.
It awarded McKenzie $500,000 for mental anguish and more than $11,000 for funeral expenses. Her parents, Gary McKenzie and Karen McDonald, were awarded $1.05 million for pecuniary losses, $3.5 million for loss of companionship and $5.5 million for mental anguish.
Based in Norco, Calif., Spearmint Rhino operates 14 gentlemen’s clubs in the United States, according to its website.
It also operates clubs in the United Kingdom and Australia.