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Alcohol Sold to Minor Leads to $716 Million Jury Award

On Feb. 28, 2008, plaintiff’s decedent Sam Garcia III, 32 was stopped  intending to exit a restaurant in Apollo Beach.

Defendant David Holdsworth was driving 95 mph in a posted 35-mph zone on Apollo Beach Boulevard when he rounded a slight curve in the roadway and lost control of his vehicle; he collided with Garcia’s vehicle . Garcia died minutes later at the scene. Holdsworth, 17, was tested and found to have a blood-alcohol level of .136 an hour after the crash.

According to Garcia’s mother, during the day prior to the collision with her son, Holdsworth had consumed alcohol that was sold to him at Best For Less Food Mart

In December 2009, Holdsworth pleaded guilty to negligent homicide, and is serving a five-year sentence in the Florida state prison system. In a separate suit, the plaintiffs settled with Holdsworth in the underlying matter for an undisclosed amount in November 2009.

At trial, the court granted summary judgment against the defendants, and the case was tried on the issue of damages and the jury awarded $716 Million.  It’s likely an empty victory as the store owners had no assets or insurance.

 

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