A drunk driver who slammed his pick up truck into a couple’s motorcycle in Easton, Penn., must pay the families of the victims $1.5 million.

The Incident

Patrick Petti and Barbara A. Warren were engaged when they were struck and killed by James M. Black. Before the crash, Black had been drinking at the Riverview Country Club in Forks Township, Penn., and tested with a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit after the 2008 accident.

The families of the couple sued both Black and the country club.

Their attorney, Kevin Marciano, said that Black drank alcohol before, during and after playing golf and the country club continued to serve him even after he was drunk.

The Jury’s Decision

But the jury found only Black responsible for the accident.

The jury believed the country club’s argument that they did not over-serve Black because it did not sell alcohol directly to Black. The club’s lawyers argued that Black poured his own drinks from pitchers of beer that others purchased at the bar and brought back to their table.

It is unclear if the $1.5 million is collectible against Black, 40, who pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and is serving a five to 10-year prison sentence. He will be eligible for parole in February 2015 but could be in prison until 2020.

By: Sylvia Hsieh

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