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Wrongful death lawsuit against producers of 'Texas'

On Aug. 12, five members of the musical "Texas," produced by the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation, were killed in a car accident. The car, driven by a 20-year-old, allegedly failed to yield and pulled onto Highway 287 in the path of a tractor-trailer just north of Dumas. A blood test showed the driver had an alcohol level of .165 percent, which is more than twice the legal limit in the state of Texas, as well as traces of marijuana.

A survivor of the accident and the mother of a deceased cast member filed a lawsuit against a backer, the Coldwater Cattle Co. and the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation. Coldwater Ranch is where cast and crew members participated in a party, which included alcohol.

The plaintiffs claim that the driver was acting as an agent of the Coldwater Ranch. The defendants state that party invitations clearly instructed groups to bring a designated driver of their own as well as any alcoholic drinks that were to be consumed, as they would not be provided at the party. Attorneys for the defendants have stated that the driver and the passengers in the vehicle were legal adults capable of making their own decisions.

In the state of Texas, the drinking age is 21; the driver was underage at the time of the accident. Furnishing alcohol to an underage person is a Class A misdemeanor which is punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and possibly a year in jail.

Drunk driving crashes cause untold tragedy and pain for victims, families and survivors. An attorney may help those injured or survivors seek restitution for damages, including pain and suffering, as well as compensation for the families of deceased persons.

Source: Amarillo Globe-News, "'Texas' crash lawsuit: Batson responds, provides party invitation", Karen Smith Welch, October 03, 2013

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