CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Kindred/Anderson family were awarded a large settlement after reaching a $301-billion verdict against Beer Belly’s Sports Bar on Tuesday.
The bar was accused of overserving a customer who ended up reportedly driving intoxicated, running a red light, and killing 59-year-old Tamra Kay Kindred and her 16-year-old granddaughter Aujuni Tamay Anderson on Nov. 12, 2017. The crash happened at the intersection of Kostoryz Road and South Padre Island Drive.
Kindred's daughters, Jennifer Kindred and Elizabeth Anderson, said they were in tears hearing the verdict in their civil suit.
“We’re trying to send this message about drunk driving and wanting everyone to know how important it is for these businesses that are serving alcohol to not overserve patrons when they’re in there," said Elizabeth Anderson, who also was Aujuni mother. "And for drivers to be safe on the road. So, I’m excited that this is going to make change.”
The family’s legal team said the night of Nov. 12, bartenders overserved Joshua Delbosque at least eleven alcoholic drinks. Delbosque left the bar with a 0.263 blood alcohol concentration; the legal alcohol limit in Texas is 0.08.
“I see a wonderful message from this jury that human lives are more valuable than anything else in this world," said John Flood, lead lawyer for the family. "And that we can’t stop until we start getting people to behave more responsibly and to have respect for that human life.”
Kindred was on her way home after picking up her granddaughter from her job at Cici’s Pizza when Delbosque ran a red light in his 2014 Dodge Charger while reportedly going 91 mph. He struck and killed Kindred and her granddaughter. Delbosque also died in the crash.
The Kindred/Anderson family’s legal team said the family doesn’t expect a single dollar from the win. Rather, Elizabeth Anderson and Jennifer Kindred hoped they could change how people view drunk driving. With their message, they hope they can save someone's life.
“Please, as a community come together and show that you care enough about our community to help prevent others from walking out and making that same mistake,” Elizabeth said.
Elizabeth Anderson and Jennifer Kindred's lawyers from Flood Trial Lawyers and Sico, Hoelscher & Harris LLP, met with jurors after the trial. They were told the jurors stand for the family's message.
“We spoke to them afterwards and they wanted to send a message, a strong message, that drunk driving and bars and bartenders and servers — it’s a problem that needs to be fixed," Flood said. "And they hope that this will make a difference in the lives of other people."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports about 28 people die in a drunk-driving crash each day. The number of drunk-driving crashes increases 38 percent around the holidays. That's why Elizabeth Anderson and Jennifer Kindred thought this message was more timely than ever.
“Our mom always said 'Where there’s a will, there’s a way,' " Jennifer Kindred said. "And this is her will, through us and everything that she taught us. And it’s her message — it’s their message. They’re here guiding us.”
The legal team said Carlton Erickson, a pharmacologist, explained to the jury that Delbosque was obviously intoxicated long before his his blood-alcohol content reached .263. He explained that at a .3 BAC, 50 percent of people are rendered unconscious, and when Delbosque left the bar, he lacked the skill necessary to avoid the collision.
“The purpose of the civil litigation is to remind the community, the state, and the nation, of the horrific costs of drunk driving and the bars that irresponsibly overserve their customers," the Flood team said in a release. "The family hopes and prays that the jury’s verdict persuades bar owners, bartenders and other alcohol servers that they must follow Texas law and never serve alcohol to an already intoxicated person."
Beer Belly's was located in the 3400 block of S. Padre Island Drive and is no longer in service.