A Santa Rosa winery has agreed to pay $3 million to settle a lawsuit brought by a Sebastopol man who was permanently disabled in an alcohol-related car crash in 2006.
Paradise Ridge Winery was sued by Joshua Apodaca, the passenger in a car driven by a 19-year-old classmate, Sean Bradley, who allegedly was served beer at a wedding reception hosted by the winery.
A crash early the next morning left Apodaca with a serious brain injury and his family sought damages from Paradise Ridge, Bradley and the owners of a Sebastopol 7-Eleven store where Bradley bought additional alcohol.
Under the terms of a settlement approved in Superior Court, the winery will pay $3 million, 7-Eleven will pay $500,000 and Bradley will pay about $105,000. The money is intended to cover the cost of life-time care for Apodaca, buy him a house equipped for the disabled and pay more than $1.1 million in attorney fees.
The suit stemmed from the events of July 14, 2006 when Apodaca and Bradley attended a wedding at the winery.
In court documents, Bradley said he was served six to eight beers by the winery despite telling an employee he left his identification in his car.
When the reception ended, Bradley and Apodaca got a ride to Bradley’s parents’ home in Sebastopol. There, they drove off together in a Subaru sedan, stopping at a 7-Eleven on Pleasant Hill Avenue North, where Bradley allegedly bought two bottles of Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
The crash occurred early the next morning, a few blocks from Bradley’s house.
Authorities said the car was speeding when it plowed into trees and a redwood fence. Both men had to be cut from the wreckage.
Tests taken at a hospital revealed Bradley had a blood-alcohol level of .14 percent, almost twice the legal limit. He was convicted of driving under the influence and causing bodily injury and sentenced to nine months in jail and three years’ formal probation.
Apodaca, now 23, suffered brain and orthopedic injuries, according to court documents. His mother, Darlene Lindstrom, and grandfather, Jack Lindstrom, were named by the court as conservators of his estate because of his disabilities.
They first sued Bradley and his parents for damages related to the crash. Paradise Ridge and the 7-Eleven were added later as defendants.
Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group will pay damages for the winery. The Bradley’s were covered for $100,000 by an automobile insurance policy and the 7-Eleven owners will be covered under a corporate indemnity policy.
California law states that bars, wineries and other licensed alcohol purveyors are not responsible for what intoxicated patrons do once they walk out the door. Apodaca’s lawsuit was based on the exception to this rule, which is a prohibition on serving alcohol to obviously intoxicated minors.
If you or a family member has been injured because of the fault of someone else; by negligence, personal injury, slip and fall, car accident, medical malpractice, trucking accident, drunk driving, dangerous and defective drugs, bad product, toxic injury etc then please contact the Fort Worth Texas Car Accident Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik. For a no obligation, free case analysis, please call 888-210-9693 or Contact Me Online.