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Family of Man Killed in DUI Takes Marriott to Court, Says Hotel Partially Responsible

The family of a man killed in a drunk driving accident is suing Marriott for partial responsibility.

Five years ago, Scripps researcher Jared Purton, 33, was killed in a drunk driving accident. Purton himself was sober at the time of the crash. The drunk driver who crashed into Puton’s car at over 100 miles per hour was Michael Landri, who had just left a company holiday party at the San Diego Marriott Del Mar.

According to a lawsuit filed by Purton’s family, Landri was a bartender at the Marriott and had been drinking at the event. Furthermore, the suit says Marriott is partially to blame for Purton’s death, as the company provided the alcohol and did not monitor Landri’s intoxication level. Landri has been serving a six-year prison sentence since he plead guilty to the fatal DUI in 2010.

Marriott claims no responsibility in the accident and plans to fight the lawsuit. The hotel chain has requested that the court case be conducted outside of San Diego and that no media coverage be allowed.

“You have to be careful about supplying people with alcohol at any function that you’re responsible for and then letting them get on the road,” attorney Jay Ronis, who is not representing either party involved in the case, told Fox5. “I’m sure there were supervisors who probably witnessed that he was intoxicated, went out and drove off. It would be pretty difficult to hear Marriott’s defense that they ought not to be liable.”

According to Ronis, establishments that serve alcohol generally avoid responsibility for what patrons do after leaving, but this is different. “This was an employer-sponsored party for employees,” said Ronis. “It wasn’t as though Marriott was open for business and [the public] were coming in and out and drinking. There is a distinction in this case. Sounds to me like Marriott is in a tough position.”

Jury selection for this case is scheduled to take place Wednesday.

[Photo: San Diego Marriott Del Mar]

Comments are Closed.

Landri was a bartender and an adult. Every bartender knows the consequences of alcohol drinking very well. A bartender works with alcohol on a daily base. Also every adult knows that drinking and driving is a hazard for the community. In my point of view the Marriott is absolutely not responsible for this. Regards, Hiranjgarbh K K Missier

acvitale May 7, 2015

Marriott is clearly liable. I read some of the comments and it is sad that people are either unable to read the facts or believe that there is no corporate liability for this.

sierranevada May 6, 2015

If I am reading this correctly, Landri was the BARTENDER at the event, not a guest? If so, that meant he was an employee of Marriott and was on duty and should not have been drinking at all.

bryanb May 6, 2015

As outrageous as this lawsuit may seem to be, servers of alcohol do have certain responsibilities under the law. Even if you don't agree with the law, take a moment to protect yourself (and in the bigger picture, to protect the public -- even from themselves). Whether you operate a business, a private function, or a fraternity party, you need be aware that you may have partial liability if you served the alcohol and anything goes wrong.

apodo77 May 6, 2015

Money grab by the family and a lawyer.