BEND, Ore. (AP) — The estate of a man who was killed in a drunken driving crash in 2017 and a crash victim who survived are suing the Prineville bar that over-served driver Justin Bittick.
The estate of Stephan Mitchell Leader-Bowles filed suit in Crook County Circuit Court against Cooler Bar LLC, which owns the Horseshoe Saloon, The Bulletin reported. Lawyers for Cooler Bar have filed motions challenging facts in the pleadings, and plaintiffs’ attorneys have filed responses.
Bittick went to Horseshoe Saloon by himself on his birthday, Oct. 20, 2017, and drank to intoxication, according to court records.
He persuaded four people at the bar to return with him to his home to continue partying and the vehicle he was driving rolled. Leader-Bowles was killed, as was Caleb Williams.
Alex Shaver and Corrine Hatchell were severely injured, as was Bittick, who suffered a traumatic brain injury and couldn’t remember the incident.
Bittick was convicted of manslaughter and he was sentenced in July to 20 years in prison.
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission revoked the Horseshoe Saloon’s liquor license and sanctioned the bar employee who served Bittick.
Janette Leader Hill, mother of Leader-Bowles, is seeking $1.25 million in noneconomic damages and “costs and disbursements.” Shaver, who suffered a broken neck and was “permanently” injured in the wreck, is seeking $900,000.