Jury Orders Strip Club to Pay $10M for DUI Fatality

Eric Brent Crutchfield was over-served at the club and ran over the victim in the parking lot.

A Dallas strip club has been blamed for a fatal drunk driving accident that killed a young woman in March 2011. A jury awarded the woman’s family $10 million.

After a night at the Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club, Eric Brent Crutchfield left the club around 2 a.m. heavily intoxicated, jumped into his illegally souped-up Ford truck and ran over 23-year-old Kasey McKenzie, who was walking through the parking lot.

Her parents, Gary and Karen, brought a wrongful death civil suit against Crutchfield and the strip club for over-serving its customer.

According to a toxicology report, Crutchfield’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit.

The couple’s attorney, Michael Schmidt, argued that employees at the strip club continued to serve Crutchfield even after he was “obviously intoxicated” and “presented a clear danger to himself and others.”

In addition, Crutchfield was driving with a suspended license and his Ford F-250 had illegal customized changes, including oversized wheels, a lift kit, illegal headlights and tinted windows. Police said that as a result, the vehicle was too high off the ground and obstructed his view.

After he struck McKenzie, he drove off without knowing he hit anyone. Several witnesses had to run after him to stop him.

The jury pinned 70 percent of the blame on the strip club for over-serving Crutchfield and 30 percent on Crutchfield himself.

Crutchfield is behind bars after a criminal trial in which he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in McKenzie’s death. He had already been on probation for possession of steroids. After the manslaughter conviction, a judge revoked his probation and sentenced him to 10 years.

By: Sylvia Hsieh

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