Applebee’s sued over drunk pedestrian’s death

May 2, 2013 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The estate of a man who was struck and killed by a truck filed a lawsuit against the Taos restaurant that served him several 20-ounce beers, saying he was over served before he walked out of the restaurant and into the street where he was killed.

The Albuquerque Journal ( reports Julian Varela, 49, [auth] had a blood alcohol level four times the legal limit for driving when he left the Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar on Dec. 29, 2011.

He was killed by a teen driver who wasn’t cited in the incident. The lawsuit names the 17-year-old as a defendant, saying he was negligent.

The lawsuit says the restaurant’s employees shouldn’t have served Varela the 20-ounce “Brewtus” beers and should have stopped him from leaving while intoxicated.

It also accused Applebee’s corporate leadership of encouraging its restaurants to drive up liquor sales, especially late at night, a policy it says “created a dangerous situation.” An attorney for Varela’s estate wouldn’t say where they got the internal emails and records those accusations are based on.

The lawsuit references police reports from 2008 to 2011 that list 90 incidents, and the chain’s own log entries of gunshots, fights, assaults and other incidents at the restaurant.

It seeks punitive and other damages.

An Applebee’s spokesman told the newspaper that the chain doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

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