Stephen Ballard, 21, was struck by a drunken driver who had consumed alcohol at the Duluth, Minn., golf course before getting on the road. Ballard faces extensive rehabilitation as a result of the 2011 crash, and alleges in his suit that Professional Golf Management Inc. showed negligent, careless and otherwise illegal conduct by selling alcohol to an intoxicated person.
A young man who was injured when a car driven by a drunken driver crossed the centerline and struck his vehicle is suing the city of Duluth, Minn., and the management of Enger Park Golf Course for serving alcohol to an “obviously intoxicated” man, the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune reported.
The lawsuit brought by Stephen Ballard, 21, names the city and Professional Golf Management Inc. as defendants, the Tribune reported.
Ballard suffered a broken right ankle, a broken right wrist and a head injury in the July 22, 2011, crash when Robert John Chesser drove his Dodge Intrepid across the centerline into the oncoming lane and struck Ballard, who was driving a Volkswagen Golf, the Tribune reported.
The suit alleges that Professional Golf Management and the city, through their employees, illegally sold, gave or otherwise furnished alcoholic beverages to Chesser while he was a patron and obviously intoxicated, in violation of Minnesota law. The boiler-plate language of the suit asks for more than $50,000 in damages, the Tribune reported.
City Attorney Gunnar Johnson said he had no immediate comment. Ballard’s attorney couldn’t be reached for comment, the Tribune reported.
According to court documents, a doctor was unable to tell Stephen Ballard nearly two months after the incident if he would have a permanent disability, but he told Ballard he would need extensive rehabilitation, the Tribune reported.
As a result of the crash, Chesser, 44, pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular operation causing great bodily harm by operating a motor vehicle in a negligent manner while under the influence of alcohol, the Tribune reported.
The criminal complaint states that Chesser told a Duluth police crash investigator that he had been playing golf at Enger Park from about 3:30 or 4 p.m. until 8:30 or 9 p.m. He said that after playing golf he went to the clubhouse at the course and drank five 16-ounce Coors Light tap beers. He said he remembered leaving the golf course feeling fine, but he didn’t remember much after that, the Tribune reported.
The suit alleges that as a result of the negligent, careless and otherwise illegal conduct and statutory violations of the city of Duluth and Professional Golf Management Inc. and the resulting collision, (Ballard) has suffered “numerous and severe injuries to his body, both internally and externally, with great shock to his nerves and nervous system, causing him to suffer great pain, mental distress and permanent disability, such that he has in the past and will in the future be required to incur expenses for medical and hospital care and will in the future sustain the loss of money be reason of his impaired and diminished earning capacity.”
The suit further alleges that the defendants had a duty to exercise reasonable care to train, supervise and control their contractors and employees to ensure that alcoholic beverages were not sold illegally, the Tribune reported.
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