Lawsuit filed against Kentucky bars who served man who killed Dearborn family in wrong-way crash

GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT)- (04/10/19)- A lawsuit has been filed against two Kentucky bars - accused of over-serving a man who caused a deadly crash that killed an entire family.

The lawsuit raises questions of the responsibility of servers when it comes to how much is too much.

A toxicology report shows Joey Lee Bailey of Kentucky... had a blood alcohol level of .306 – over three times the legal limit, when he plowed head on into the Abbas vehicle, killing the family of five from Dearborn.
Investigators say Bailey was served at least two 22-ounce beers and three double White Russians at one bar.

He then drove to another, where he was also served at least one beer and four additional double White Russians.

A wrongful death lawsuit filed by relatives of the Abbas family... alleges that Bailey was served drinks, despite obvious signs of his intoxication.

"Its very difficult especially when people from place to place to place,"said server, Merri Smith.

Merri Smith has worked as server in the food industry for a few decades.

She currently works at Blackstones in Flint.

She says it can be difficult to determine when a customer has been over served.

"Someone might into your establishment and maybe only have one drink at your establishment, but they've had 3 or 4 drinks at other establishments too, so its very hard to detect," Smith said.

To help with that, Smith has undergone training called Techniques of Service Alcohol Management or TAM.

In Michigan, it is required to hold an alcohol certification in order to legally serve drinks in your bar, hotel, or restaurant.

"It's like a seminar, and you go and get registered for it. They to you about the amount of alcohol per hour. They say one shot an hour is normal, but I think over that, especially if people are doing shots and things like that, and drinks and drinks and drinks," Smith said.

Smith say the goal is to prevent another tragedy like one took the lives of the Abbas family.

"Had to cut people off, that fallen asleep, you sometimes have to do the tough love thing, " Smith said.

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