The family of a man killed in a hit-and-run blames a Lexington bar for pouring the man too many drinks, according to a lawsuit filed in Fayette County Circuit Court on May 12.
On Nov. 14, 2009, a silver 1999 Audi hit Anthony Gibbs on Nicholasville Road while Gibbs was trying to cross the street. It was 10:10 p.m. Gibbs had been drinking at the Malabu Pub and Grille, 239 Surfside Drive, the lawsuit says. He fell into a coma, and died four days later.
The police have not found Hector Alviter-Rivera, the owner of the car suspected to have hit Gibbs.
Attorney Larry Jones, representing Gibbs' estate, said Gibbs' family thinks police have given up on finding Alviter-Rivera and decided to take action themselves by filing a wrongful-death suit. The suit names Alviter-Rivera as well as Henry and Catherine Wilson, the owners of the Malabu Pub and Grille.
The family has not heard from the police department since a few weeks after the hit-and-run, Jones said.
Sherelle Roberts, spokeswoman for the police department, said no arrests have been made in connection with the hit-and-run, but the investigation is still open.
Jones said the bar owners should be held responsible for Gibbs' death because he would not have tried to cross the road where there was not a crosswalk if he were not so drunk. Gibbs' blood-alcohol level was 0.20 — more than twice the legal limit.
Jones said bartenders had a duty to monitor how much Gibbs had been drinking.
"People who were at the bar with Gibbs said he was extremely intoxicated and they continued to serve him. They had a duty to stop serving him," Jones said.
Henry Wilson declined to comment on the lawsuit.
The Wilsons were served with written questions and letters requesting video surveillance footage from inside the bar. They have until June 7 to respond, and then depositions will be scheduled, Jones said.
Gibbs' estate is seeking lost wages, funeral and hospital costs as well as punitive damages. Jones expects the amount to exceed $1 million.