Sunday, January 1, 2012

And Speaking of a Sense of Entitlement - Drunk Driver Sues for Medical Expenses

Chelsea Hess, a 22-year-old from South Carolina, is suing the county and a local sports bar to cover her medical expenses after a car accident left her paralyzed.  Ms. Hess was 20 at the time of the accident.  After spending several hours in bar drinking and playing pool she got into her car to drive home without putting on her seat belt.  

Ms. Hess and her attorney have decided that this is the responsibility of the bar, the bartender, and the county.  Apparently, she bares no responsibility at all.  The court documents show that she feels that she should have been carded and refused service of the alcohol, the bartender should have also known that she may have been drinking before reaching the sports bar, and then of course, they should have also realized that she was unable to drive due to her drinking.  
'The bartender failed to attempt to ascertain whether or not plaintiff was already impaired by alcohol consumption when she purchased the alcoholic beverage and made sale to plaintiff even though she was unable to legally purchase the alcoholic beverage, and notwithstanding the possibility that she was already impaired by alcohol consumption,
She then follows all this up with county being responsible for the road saying it has not been properly maintained.  
'suddenly dropped off into a large unmaintained area on the shoulder of Alljoj Road, which caused plaintiff to lose control of her vehicle and causing her to roll the vehicle off the side of the road.'
So let me get this straight, a woman who is legally an adult bares no responsibility for going into the bar and ordering the drinks even though it was illegal.  It is all the bartender's fault, even when apparently they are admitting that she had been drinking before even reaching that bar.   Then she gets into her car knowing that she had been drinking and ends up driving on the shoulder of the roadway, then loses control of her car.  She crashes and because she wasn't wearing a seat belt she was ejected from the car and her injuries have left her paralyzed for life.  But that is the fault of the county.  It has nothing to do with her own reckless behavior.  It couldn't possibly be that her own bad choices caused this tragic accident.  

Yes, it is sad that she will spend the rest of her life in wheelchair.  That must be a difficult thing for a young person to face.  But, that doesn't change the fact that she made some very poor choices that evening.  The county didn't force her to drive her car, she did that all on her own.  The bartender didn't force her to drink any of those drinks, her own arm lifted the drink to her mouth.  While I agree that bars should be vigilant about making sure that who they are serving is of age, it isn't the sole responsibility of the bartender.  

It seems that young woman didn't learn a great deal from almost dying.  She made choices, very bad choices.  She has to learn to live with consequences of those choices and stop putting the blame on others.  Her life is not over.  She can do many great things with her life while in that wheelchair.  It is high time that she accept her fate, take responsibility for her actions, and get on with her life.  

Boy, do we need tort reform.


Anonymous said...

That's what drunk drivers do. They are incapable of practicing responsibility. Thank God she injured herself and not anyone else, physically. But of course, now the tax payers will bare her burden, in court and medically.

What this young lady chooses to ignore is; it is illegal to drink to the point of intoxication in public.

My husband was killed this year by a drunk driver. I've had the displeasure of seeing this man in court 5 times so far this past year.. not once has he, nor his family apologized to any of us.

His mother called the prosecutor and said, "why are you trying to ruin my sons life?", Had that man not been on a motorcycle this would've been a minor fender bender, you would've written my son for DUI and sent him home."

This 37 year old man's mother is even blaming the victim. - who by the way was in his own lane, traveling the speed limit, in a vehicle perfectly legal in the United States.

My family and I look forward to a jury of our peers convicting this man. The state putting handcuffs on him and dragging him off to prison.

I hear people say "he has to live with what he did"- I promise you that is nothing compared to living with the loss, and the not getting to say goodbye to someone you have loved your entire life.

Thankfully little miss wheelchair only hurt herself and can never hurt anyone else with her irresponsible stupidity again.

Just a conservative girl said...

I am so so sorry for your loss and the pain you are experiencing through the court system. I pray that man who killed your loved one will pay the price and spend some time in jail. I will also pray that after many years in jail he will realize what he did to you and the rest of your family.

You are in my prayers.

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