Parents of an Indian student file lawsuit against restaurant for serving alcohol to minors
The parents of an Indian student, who died in a fatal car crash last year, are filling a lawsuit against North Italia restaurant in Tucson, Arizona, and its parent firm, Fox Restaurant Concepts LLC, for serving alcohol to Anthony Hall, 18, who then drove home and crashed into a light pole, killing Mihir Dixit, 23, and Isabella Patterson, then 19.
Mihir, a student from India who was studying at the University of Arizona, died at the scene of the late-night crash in September 2017 while Patterson was seriously hurt and needed corrective surgeries for her injuries, the lawsuit claims.
Patterson’s parents are also in on the lawsuit with Dixit’s though the restaurant, which is in an upscale shopping center, has not filed a response to the lawsuit yet.
According to Tucson Police Department, the lawsuit claims that Hall had told police that he was drinking at home before the crash, but then revealed that one of his friends had been buying him “alcoholic drinks at North restaurant prior to the incident,” a few days later.
Tests taken after the crash showed that Hall’s blood alcohol level was two to three times the legal limit for driving.
The lawsuit also accuses North Italia restaurant of negligence, claiming that their employees served Dixit, Hall and Patterson, two bottles of champagne worth $200 each and two bottles of white wine worth $65 each, totaling the bill to $650.39 during their 90-minute visit, despite Hall and Patterson being underage at the time.
However, online records of Arizona’s liquor department indicate that no disciplinary action has been taken to date against the restaurant’s liquor license, according the Tucson.com report.
Tucson News Now reports that Dixit, Hall and Patterson had arrived at the restaurant at around 10:30 p.m. on September 16, 2017, to celebrate Dixit’s birthday.
Cell phone videos show employees pouring drinks for Dixit, who was of age at the time, while the other glasses appeared to have alcohol in them already as the lawsuit alleges that North Italia employees never recorded any identification for Patterson or Hall, who were underage at the time.
The lawsuit continues to claim that the restaurant violated a state law by delivering more than one liter of wine, to one person at one time and that the employees continued to serve the intoxicated individuals instead of calling for a sober driver.
After their 90-minute stay, the group left in Hall’s father’s car, with Hall behind the wheel.
According to accident reports, Hall lost control of the car and crashed into a pole, minutes later.
Dixit was pronounced dead at the scene while Patterson suffered severe injuries to her foot.
A toxicology report for Dixit indicated that his alcohol concentration was .589.
Hall was charged with one count of second-degree murder, one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of aggravated assault causing serious or permanent physical injury, as well as an extreme DUI.
There is no available status of those charges as of now.
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