CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A lawsuit is making history for the amount of money a jury decided to award a family whose loved ones were killed in a drunk driving accident. A Corpus Christi bar was found guilty of overserving the man who caused the crash.
In November 2017, 59-year-old Tamra Kay Kindred was on her way home after picking up her 16-year-old granddaughter, Aujuni Tamay Anderson, from her job at Cici's Pizza when they were suddenly hit and killed by a drunk driver who ran a red light. Joshua Delbosque, who also died in the accident, was found to have a blood alcohol level of .263 at the time of the crash, officials said.
Delbosque had just left Beer Belly's Sports Bar minutes before the accident, where he was served 11 alcoholic drinks, according to the lawsuit.
On Tuesday, Dec. 7, the family was awarded $301,040,000,000 by a jury.
Jennifer Kindred and Elizabeth Anderson are the daughters of Tamra and Elizabeth is the mother of Aujuni.
They’re turning their pain from losing their loved ones into advocacy. By not just being a voice for who they lost, but for anyone else who may suffer the same heartbreak.
“We feel that of course it is unfair the losses that we’ve encountered, but if we can do anything on a positive note to have others not have to go through what we went through, we want to get that message out and spread the awareness of drunk driving,” said Anderson.
The sisters are not only hoping that these tragedies stop, but to hold those behind the wheel and behind the bar accountable.
“I think a lot of people are under the assumption that bars are not responsible, but we have to remember like as in this incident not only did, we lose our family, that man also lost his life when he left that bar,” said Kindred.
On Tuesday, Dec. 7, accountability won the verdict.
“I am so proud to represent these two people who are willing to put themselves out there and have the courage to put their families pain out there,” said lead attorney John Flood. “To try and make sure that even though a person dies every hour from a drunk driver in the United States we got to remember every single one of them and we got to do everything we can to try and stop it”
The family and their attorney are hoping this historic verdict sparks change.
“It is our sincere hope like I said that every bartender, every bar owner keeps this in mind when they are training their servers and when those servers are actually serving their customers,” said Flood. “They need to remember that sometimes, and hopefully more often there’s going to be accountability for when they do it poorly and unsafely.”
Corpus Christi Attorney Matt Manning said this verdict could leave an even larger impact.
“It might incentivize the legislature to require bar owners to have insurance," Manning said. "Because as large as this verdict is, what really happens a lot of times is, insurance is essentially the money that provides an assurance letting people know that hey if something bad happens there’s at least this amount of money that can potentially be tapped to provide recompense to whoever is hurt."
This is the largest penalty for such a crime in U.S. history, but the family won’t see a cent of it. Flood says that’s because Texas does not require bar owners to carry any minimum level of liability insurance unlike drivers.