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Kasey McKenzieDallas, TX – Back in 2011 we reported on Eric Crutchfield, the drunk man who ran over  and killed Kasey McKenzie in a strip club parking lot with his “monster truck.” The other day, a jury ruled that the strip club bears 70 percent of the blame and awarded the McKenzie’s family $10.5 million.

For those of you unaware of the original story, 23-year-old Kasey McKenzie was walking in the parking lot of the Spearmint Rhino when she stepped in front of 27-year-old Eric Crutchfield’s dumbass truck. The truck in question was an F-250 that had been lifted so high, Crutchfield must be hung like a Ken doll. Crutchfield didn’t see McKenzie and ended up killing her after running her over with his front and rear tire.

According to reports, patrons had to chase down Crutchfield, who had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit, who wasn’t even aware he had just flattened a human being with his rolling cock extension. Crutchfield would later be found guilty of manslaughter and is currently serving a nine-year prison sentence.

McKenzie’s family eventually filed a civil lawsuit against Crutchfield as well as Spearmint Rhino, who they claimed over-served Crutchfield.

‘We believe that obviously he was intoxicated; it was apparent to the bartender and the club that he was intoxicated, and he got behind the wheel of his monster truck and ran over Kasey McKenzie,’ said Michael Schmidt, the attorney for McKenzie’s parents.

After being informed of  US “dram shop” laws that sate restaurants, bars and liquor stores can be held liable if they serve alcohol to customers who are clearly drunk, the jury was shown surveillance footage from inside the club that night that showed Crutchfield being served in excess of 10 drinks and shots within four hours.

The jury agreed that Spearmint Rhino negligently over-served Crutchfield and ordered them to pay 70 percent of damages – Crutchfield will be required to pay the rest. Defense attorneys said they expect an appeal, although corporate representative for the Spearmint Rhino said the company had no comment on the ruling.

The $10.5 million judgment is said to be the biggest dram shop verdict in Dallas County since 1985, possibly anywhere.

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  • sweekymom

    Nine years?? Nine Years???

    There is no fucking justice.

  • Sam

    Fucking hell. So a guy decides to drink himself stupid, keeps ordering drinks, then decides to drive home completely wasted, and somehow most of the blame for the inevitable disaster that followed is the bar that was doing what all bars do – serve drinks? Is personal accountability dead and buried these days?

  • Buffettgirl

    Why yes, yes it is!

  • newstarshipsmell

    I applaud you on your re-use of the phrase “rolling cock extension,” Morbid. It’s really too good to pass up.

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    Thanks to “Nanny” laws, personal accountability is dead & buried.
    As far as I’m concerned, he should get more than a measly 9 years.

  • G.I.R.L.

    It’s the equivalent of inviting someone over, watching them get drunk and then letting them loose on the road; once their judgement became impaired in your home, you become responsible as well. At my old job, we could only sell two beers per customer (and they would grow vocal as a result and would even attempt to bribe).

    The driver was responsible for the death and knew that he should not have drank that much since he had to drive home. The club is responsible for filling him up when he was already visibly intoxicated. Their poor judgement deserves consequences as well.

  • Evan Oswald

    WHERE IS THE PIC OF THE TRUCK?

  • OutOfBubbleGum

    Nine years and three million dollars is one expensive Dunlop dance.

  • http://www.dreamindemon.com Morbid
  • http://www.dreamindemon.com Morbid

    For those curious, here’s the truck. That’s not McKenzie.

  • OutOfBubbleGum

    “According to reports, patrons had to chase down Crutchfield,..”

    Why is it if this happened on CSI, they’d still need an hour to solve the crime?

  • Buffettgirl

    So – my Tundra is doing the “I want to over heat for no reason” dance the past couple of days and I needed a ride to work this morning. Friend J happens to have a Ford Excursion that is about as lifted as this guy Crutchfield’s truck. When I got out of the truck this morning I stood there and seriously contemplated if I should go around front, knowing he wouldn’t see me, or around the back, where he also might not see me. A truck that lifted, while fun at times is way, way, WAY too dangerous for everyday use. IMHO at any rate…

  • Andyman

    It is a shame that this happened for sure, and I certainly feel you on the concern thing. That’s probably the first thing I would have thought if I were this young lady. Of course I’m usually overly cautious about anything around me as I used to ride motorcycles and just plan on people not seeing me, trying to run me over, etc. I also wonder to what extent this would have happened whether he had been drinking or not, not that I am at all condoning drinking and driving. What a shame for all involved.

  • Andyman

    I’m a little disappointed; I thought all jacked up trucks came with the mandatory ball sack hanging down by the trailer hitch… I can certainly see how he didn’t see her.

  • Buffettgirl

    I spend as much time as possible on the back of Boyfriend’s Harley, so I’m with you on the motorcycle aspect. Cars not seeing/adjusting for motorcycles is so prevalent out there that it’s almost comical how bad it is. Almost. I agree with you about wondering if this would have happened with or without the alcohol. Up that high, depending on how close to his truck she way he just might not have seen her no matter what. I also don’t condone the drinking and driving aspect of this, and am not looking to excuse him at all, but I was able to play Devil’s Advocate while reading this just because of what happened to me this morning.

  • salad

    Thanks goodness… makes life that much easier on me.

  • Athena

    I agree, but that’s actually a remarkable sentence in a country where vehicular manslaughter convicts are generally sentenced to half that.

  • Athena

    How is that street legal?

  • 18th40

    And sadly it’s still about 5-7 years longer than he would have got here in Canada.

  • Athena

    Well, I can’t really hate on Canada’s system. Your crime rates compared to our suggest you guys are doing something right.

    …and, really, I believe sentencing should be based on likelihood of recidivism more than anything. So, while I feel this guy’s sentence should be longer, it may be that vehicular homicide has a very low rate of recidivism, making it kind of pointless to keep people locked up at taxpayer expense for an extended period of time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004581520434 Evildino Six Six Six

    Lol American law. . .

  • Athena

    I see you have a down voter, there. I wonder if that person would feel differently if it were a plastic surgeon’s parking lot and they let a patient still under the affects of anesthesia leave?

  • Kasie K

    yes

  • newstarshipsmell
  • Minerva

    I resent this. I have experience working in a bar and the first thing they say is “if they appear intoxicated do not keep serving them”. Since you are making money based on getting people drunk you can’t just load em up then hand them their keys and say “go home”. I called the cops a few times when visibly drunk people tried leaving and driving home.. Refusing a cab also.

    Second, on my way home from work, a drunk left a bar and caused an accident that left me ejected over forty ft onto the highway and on life support for 5 days. I was in the hospital for over a month. I still have severe chronic pain because of nerve damage in my spine. His BAC was .31 over two hours after the accident. It also happened less then a mile from the club (the highway entrance is across the street from this bar). They also saw he was wasted but got bonuses based on how much they could serve people. They also had mandatory valet and handed this guy his keys when witnesses said he couldn’t stand or walk straight. I sued him but got his max payout which did it cover the initial EMS services. So yeah I sued the bar.

    I have over a million in medical bills. They can’t make money on getting people drunk then turn around and wipe thier hands when something bad happens.

  • Minerva

    Read my story above. Also what happens if a bar serves a guy who’s extremely visibly intoxicated but keep servicing him because refusing would mean losing out on money. Guy leaves, and kills a family a few mins later. Children are left without their parents. Shouldn’t the kids be able to sue the bar who profited off the drunk and instead of calling a cab just said “good riddance”. The drunk has no assets, and minimum insurance, so they get the max payout of $15 000. Should the bar be free and clear?

  • Chinchillazilla

    Forget street legal, how the hell do you even get into the cab?

  • http://www.dreamindemon.com Morbid

    Yeah, I normally don’t like re-using phrases from past articles, but in this case I made an exception.

  • JGo555

    Guess he’s gonna hafta sell the truck to another dude with a big dick. Damn it!

  • JGo555

    Gents, the lap dances are gonna go up to $1000 now.

  • LoKi4778

    That’s the funniest shit I’ve ever seen. How can I use it to show others how stupid they sound when they’re too lazy to do it themselves?

  • LoKi4778

    Never mind, I just Googled it myself…

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    First off, sorry you had to deal with the injuries you had to suffer at the hands of a drunk driver. In the situation you describe, there were aggressive alcohol sales tactics involved. As far as I’m concerned, in that situation, the bar & employees should have been sued jointly & severally.
    However, in the case of a responsible tavern owner that properly trains the service personnel, but the employee(s) take it upon themselves to serve intoxicants in an irresponsible manner against policy; no. The injured party should only be able to successfully sue the directly responsible party/parties, not the establishment, not the ownership of the establishment.
    Hypothetical: If you warn your employees to not jump off of the Golden Gate Bridge, and they do it anyhow; should you be thrown over the edge by the legal system, also?

  • LeaveMeBe

    A strip club called the Spearmint Rhino. Am I missing something here?

  • JohnQknowitall

    So a bar continues to serve some asshole who obviously doesn’t know his limits. A woman walking in that bar’s parking lot is killed brutally by a guy so drunk with alcohol fed to him by the bar that the drunkard doesn’t know he killed someone. Sounds like the bar is in the alcohol serving business and should recognize when to cut people off. $10.5 million please… although it will be contested until the plaintiffs run out of funding in the appelant phase if it gets that far.

  • Sam

    The strippers may be fatasses but at least they’ll have minty fresh breath?

  • malq

    personal responsibility anyone?

  • malq

    Do we know his previous DUI history?

  • Sam

    I can understand why you feel that way, and i’m sorry that happened to you. But i feel the same way as @Wolf_of_Mars:disqus.
    There is a big difference between a responsible bar owner with responsible staff, a responsible bar owner who teaches his staff but with staff who say fuckit, and a douchebag bar owner who just cares about his bottom line. Any one of those three bars could have resulted in a drunk drive accident afterwards.
    Now, if it can be proven that a bar was negligent by e.g. blatantly overserving somebody who’s too drunk to see straight (bearing in mind not everybody looks as drunk as they might actually be), or in your case handing somebody who couldn’t stand up properly the keys to his car (wtf?), i do believe the bar should be held partially responsible. But more responsible than the actual drunk driver, the person who chose to keep drinking, the person who chose to climb behind the wheel of his ridiculous ride? No.

    Side note, thank you for making me realise i need to be thankful for our National Health Service, even with it’s flaws.

  • Sam

    See my reply to @GoldbergVariation:disqus
    And it’s surprisingly easy to drive over somebody and not notice it. My brother was dropped off after work in a small minivan and his 3yo daughter ran out of the house to greet him. She went in front of the van, he walked round behind. The driver never saw her and drove straight over her; didn’t realise what happened until he looked in his rear-view mirror halfway down the street and saw the kerfuffel behind him. If the monstertruck ran over the woman’s ‘soft middle’, he would hardly have felt a thing, even stone cold sober.

  • Sam

    As if it would have stopped you otherwise… ;)

  • Andyman

    I had a friend almost die on his bike on his way over to my house about 3 years ago. A toyota camry pulled out directly in front of him and my friend T-boned him. Two months in the hospital and $366,000 richer, I’m just glad he didn’t die. After all, it was my house he was headed to on a bike I talked him into buying. I sold mine and haven’t really looked back. I miss riding but it is just too crazy out there with all the distracted drivers – especially now a days with texting, etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/randi.thistle Randi Thistle

    how did the girl NOT see the truck coming?

  • Minerva

    I’m not disagreeing at the point of being a responsible bar owner. That’s why when I was a waitress, like I said, I served people and the only time I allowed them to drink past being drunk was when I knew they weren’t driving. If they were drunk and tried leaving and driving, I called the bouncer to take thier keys and call a cab.

    However, my point was don’t blast a law because in one instance it seems stupid. There’s a reason it’s there. Also the only way to collect is to prove negligence. You have to prove they served the person while they were visibly intoxicated. Then you have to then prove that negligence directly lead to the injuries. Its not easy to prove and not that common to win. My lawsuit took 3 years, more doctors then I can imagine examining me, and tons of bullshit back and forth.

    I’m just saying don’t hate on it because it protects people from businesses that don’t care as long as they get tha extra buck.

  • Buffettgirl

    Glad your friend made it! Last Friday night the president of Boyfriend’s MC got hit on his bike. He’s thankfully alright, and the poor lady that hit him must have just about died when 20 or so bikes rolled up to the scene before the cops even got there, but it was just that, texting and driving, that caused the accident. Why do people always assume the rules/laws don’t apply to them?

  • Andyman

    I think most people feel that *other people* texting and driving is bad but it is OK for them to do it, because they are more skilled or whatever. What I TOTALLY don’t get are the motorcyclists who also want to text while riding. And of course this happened in FloriDUH but did you see this one? http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2013-01-09/news/os-motorcycle-texting-crash-death-20130109_1_motorcyclist-crash-winter-garden

  • Andyman

    That is fucking awesome. I am so totally using that the next time someone asks… lol

  • Buffettgirl

    Oh for the love of Pete! [Just who is Pete anyway, I mean I know it's not my dicksack brother Peter, so who is it? ;-)] Seriously, this dude did the rest of us a favor if he was on his motorcycle and texting… Sorry, that may seem cold, I just can’t handle the concept. The phones stay in the tank bag when we ride. If we needed a phone urgently we’d pull the hell over. I find myself amazed almost everyday at what people will do…

  • Athena

    I agree that a business owner who took every reasonable step to protect his patrons (from themselves) should be off the hook, with liability falling to the wayward employee. However, once must then define “reasonable steps”. The sale of intoxicants is dangerous business, and the owner knows this going in, so the level of responsibility, in my opinion, is a bit higher than simply saying your employees have been trained.

    I believe mandatory new-hire training and competency testing (proof of training is not proof of understanding) and a regular audit schedule would go a long way. You have to go beyond training. You have to ensure your employees are operating in a manner consistent with that training.

  • PureDrivenSnow

    The difference between the crime rates in the U.S. and Canada are far more complicated than the issue of the criminal justice system.

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    Excuse me, but I never mentioned merely giving lip-service to the issue of training.
    I do however agree that ideally, training, follow-up testing, and, regular skills/comprehension auditing should be mandated.
    I’m NOT in favor of automatically giving the drinking establishment a legal pass, unless they can provide some sort of proof that they’ve properly trained the employees to act in accordance with the state laws & common sense.

  • Buffettgirl

    Actually, they’re fairly well know as upscale Gentleman’s Clubs. There are about 15 across the US and at least one each in the UK and Australia. The name caught my eye on a billboard in Los Angeles about 10 years ago and I looked it up! ;-)

  • Abroad

    Pete might be St Peter, i.e. The Pope? People might prefer it to the borderline blasphemous “For the love of God!”.

  • Buffettgirl

    Thanks, I didn’t even think about St. Peter! (My Mother’s favorite disciple and the reason my asshat bro is named Peter.) Doesn’t that just make a ton of sense? ;-)

  • Athena

    You’re excused. I didn’t mean to suggest you were giving lip-service, I was simply expounding upon your premise. ;)

  • Athena

    You don’t say? :P

    Yes, I reckon things like the educational system, benefits system and general culture have a thing or two to do with it as well. However, lower recidivism rates strongly correlate with the criminal justice system.

  • LeaveMeBe

    I just don’t get the name. Is there some innuendo I’m missing or double meaning? That’s what I was stumped about.

  • Athena

    He can obviously levitate. Bastard. He should’ve levitated home that night.

  • LeaveMeBe

    What about the rhino part?

  • Buffettgirl

    What I read years ago indicated that there was no specific reason for the name other than the original owner felt that it was very memorable because it’s so odd.

  • Sam

    Ehh… fatasses with dildos?

  • salad

    lol some things never change!

  • mercurial

    Taking “I’d hit it” to a whole new level. Sorry that was in poor taste.

  • mercurial

    Taking “I’d hit it” to a whole new level.

  • LeaveMeBe

    It is that. I prefer places with names that are straight forward, especially titty bars. My favorite one is in Fort Worth on the way to Texas Motor Speedway. It’s called T&A.

  • Buffettgirl

    I used to live 2 blocks away from the end of a bridge here in Portland. Right at my end of the bridge is a titty bar called The Riverside Corral. I used to LOVE to tell people to “take a left at the titty bar” when giving them directions to my house!

  • Heather_Habilatory

    Bars are in the business of drinking. Should they carry some blame? Maybe, but: how do they know who is driving, and who is getting a cab/ride/party bus/walking/biking(even though that is illegal in some states) or other wise NOT driving? Is my sobriety their responsibility? No. It’s mine, and mine alone. And I have learned this after many a night, blaming someone ELSE for my drunkenness.

  • newstarshipsmell

    You use the massive penis that you obviously must possess to pole-vault into the drivers seat.

  • Heather_Habilatory

    NOT ME!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jerri-Blank/100002828502192 Jerri Blank

    When I went to bartending classes that shit was beat into our heads, believe me they do know better, so I don’t feel much pity for the bar.

  • Athena

    Bars are in business. Business – ALL business – has liability. When your business is making people temporarily retarded, you’re obligated to look after them to some degree.

    I get the personal responsibility thing. But the reality of the situation is that people are not responsible. And this is nothing new. In fact, drunk driving rates are down from decades ago, when people were all super personally responsible in some people’s opinion. The reason they’re down is one part education, one part social programs that encourage alternative transportation, and one part legislation that increased accountability for both drinkers and their suppliers alike.

    Have you ever had outpatient surgery? In my experience, they emphasize well before the surgery that you MUST have someone to escort you home because you will be affected by the anesthesia well after you wake.. This is because, if they simply handed you your keys as soon as you woke up and you wrecked, they’d lose their ass in a lawsuit like this.

    Why should those who facilitate a trivial activity like drinking (which I love to do) carry less liability than those who perform vital services like surgery? Or should anesthesia patients be on their own? ;)

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    In the US, it technically isn’t. There is a range of height for the headlights(I don’t have the restriction documents handy for reference.) If you look at legal semi-tractors, some of them have lowered pods to nestle the headlights & bring them down to the mandated maximum height.

  • Wolf_of_Mars

    They don’t give you back your keys. They give you back your clothes. I had to drive home 35 miles after dusk, after having my eyes dilated at the ophthalmologist once. Once was all that took, and I was never warned about driving in that condition. Nothing like driving while blind during I-95, S. FL rush-hour traffic… Yee-Haw!

  • Lena60

    I don’t even think that is street legal. Christ sakes, you need a ladder to get into the damn thing.

  • techsupp0rt

    I have something here called Strawberry Rhino. Is pretty good.

  • techsupp0rt

    Dry skin.

  • techsupp0rt

    No, they’d probably BE that patient, and be pissed off that you were ‘infringing on their personal freedoms’ by not letting them enter a weapon and shoot it haphazardly down the road.

  • alphatroll

    There’s a place in Ottumwa, IA called “Tops And Seats”. The sign below that claims they do car upholstery, but I don’t believe it.

  • andy

    hey baby…whats aaa going on?

  • EveryVillainIsLemons

    Why the fuck do people ruin perfectly good trucks like that? I live in the Midwestern USA and have done so all of my life, and I just don’t get it.

  • Minerva

    More responsible than the actual drunk driver? No. But in legal terms of joint and several liability if it the jury decides the drunk is 99% at fault and the bar 1% then award the plaintiff 10 million they will go after the guy and get all they can then the bar is responsible for the remainder.

  • Sam

    And that, to me, sounds fair(er).

  • http://twitter.com/thealliecapone Allie Capone

    My Chevy Blazer is just a little bit lifted as I use I for plowing in the winter months. I’m super paranoid when I back up and drive it down the driveway backwards like Sonny in A Bronx Tale. You have to be super vigilant, sober when driving something that big.

    The thing I see in bars is a person gets cut off, they turn right around and have no problem getting someone to buy them another drink and a shot.

  • Evan Oswald

    that’s an impressive truck….bitch shouldda just ducked, huh?

  • Evan Oswald

    the earth isn’t big enough for this trucks ball sack… lol

  • Reen B

    “Hung like a Ken doll” is the one that cracked me up.

  • Reen B

    That’s my question! Rope ladder?

  • neenaP

    What a horrible way to die personally. I think those trucks are dangerous in general.

  • Anna B

    I worked as a bartender, and there were -penalties- where I worked if you over-served and let the guy get in a car. Law demands we know how our customers are getting to their destinations, because alcohol removes a -lot- of the customer’s ability to say what’s right, whereas we stay sober. Bartenders forget that it’s not the tips of the single night visit that matter; it’s the repeat business that keeps you in the black. If your bar gets a reputation, the police start camping in your parking lot, and your customers learn that you cannot be trusted, because you are the ones letting them indulge that stupid side that can ruin their lives when all they wanted was to dance and maybe schmooze a little without feeling like a weirdo.

    No owner should ever push sales if they want to continue running a business. Every owner I ever worked for pushed service. People don’t drink because they want to kill mothers in front of their 3 kids in the backseat. They drink because they’re out to have fun, to relax and breathe. If I let them drink until they fell down, and then not even the bouncer took notice of my mistake trying to pull his truck out of a space by driving through the sedan in front of it, hell yeah that bar would be liable. And so would I.

    Anyway, TLDR, Good on you for fighting for recompense. This isn’t a nanny state issue, this is cut and dried liability.