D.C. United striker Charlie Davies has filed a $20 million lawsuit against the owner of a D.C. nightclub that he argues was negligent in serving alcohol to the driver in a 2009 crash that left him with severe injuries,
The lawsuit was filed last week in D.C. Superior Court against Das Enterprises, the owner of Shadow Room nightclub, and Red Bull North America which hosted a private event on Oct. 12, 2009, attended by Davies. Davies had originally broken U.S. team curfew to attend the event, two nights before the team's World Cup qualifying match against Costa Rica at RFK Stadium.
Davies accuses both companies with continuing to serve alcohol to Maria Alejandra Espinoza, despite the fact that according to the suit, she "became visibly intoxicated."
"A bar or restaurant or establishment has a duty, once they believe someone is visibly intoxicated, to stop serving them," said Davies' attorney, Jon Pels, told the Associated Press in a telephone interview Wednesday.
A Red Bull spokesman had no comment. A telephone message left for the nightclub's chief operating officer by the AP was not returned.
Espinoza was sentenced in March to two years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and maiming while driving intoxicated. The one-car accident on a northern Virginia highway killed a female passenger and left Davies with serious injuries, including a ruptured bladder, bleeding on his brain, and fractures to his face, rib, leg, and elbow.
The District's Alcoholic Beverage Control Act prohibits the "sale or delivery of alcoholic beverages to ... an intoxicated person or any person who appears to be intoxicated," the lawsuit stated.
The lawsuit said Davies suffered permanent scars in the crash and will continue to incur significant medical expenses.
The 25-year-old Davies managed to resume his career this year in MLS with D.C. United, which acquired him on a one-year loan deal from French club Sochaux. However, despite scoring 11 goals for D.C. United, he has yet to earn a recall to the U.S. national team.