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$5 Million Massachusetts Personal Injury Verdict Awarded to Quincy Woman Who Lost Her Arm in North Andover Drunk Driving Accident

An Essex Superior Court jury has ordered the 99 Restaurants of Boston and Haverhill resident David Kvinlaug to pay a Quincy woman $5 million for personal injury. Laurie Clifford lost her arm in a 2003 drunk driving accident. Kvinlaug, who was driving the car that Clifford was riding in, pleaded guilty to drunk driving and served 90 days in jail.

On May 18, 2003, bartenders at the Ninety Nine Restaurant & Pub in North Andover reportedly served Kvinlaug, who worked at the restaurant as a line cook but was off-duty at the time, the equivalent of 11 12-ounce beers in under two hours. The 32-year-old then reportedly had a few more drinks at a party before driving his vehicle into a school bus that was parked on Chadwick Street.

Clifford and another passenger were in the car when the accident happened. Clifford’s arm, which was almost severed in the catastrophic Massachusetts crash, had to be amputated following 30 surgeries to try repairing her arm.

The 99 Restaurant chain had argued that the 33-year-old woman was partially at fault for her injuries because she knew Kvinlaug was drunk when she got in the car with him. While the jury acknowledged that Clifford acted negligently when she got into the car with a drunk driver, they found that the restaurant chain was five times more negligent because it served Kvinlaug too much alcohol.

Last week the Essex Superior Court jury ordered 99 Restaurants and Kvinlaug to pay $3.2 million in damages plus an additional $1.8 million in interest. Judge Frances McIntyre, however, ordered that Geno Barone, the person who hosted the party that Kvinlaug and Clifford attended, would not have to pay Clifford damages.

Drunk Driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says there were 146 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in Massachusetts in 2007. If you have been seriously injured in a drunk driving accident, you may be able to file a Massachusetts personal injury claim or lawsuit against all negligent parties for personal injury.

Jury Awards $5M to Woman Who Lost Arm in Drunk Driving Accident, Insurance Journal, November 10, 2008
Jury awards woman $5M for losing arm in Haverhill drunk driving accident, Eagle-Tribune, November 7, 2008
Related Web Resources:
2007 Alcohol Impaired Driving Fatalities, NHTSA (PDF)

99 Restaurants