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West View official seeks to hold bar liable in son's DUI death

The scourge of drunk driving is one that society justifiably is seeking to bring under control. The number of people who are injured or killed on the roads around Pittsburgh due to accidents related to driving under the influence has sparked an outcry.

Those who choose to drink and drive surely bear responsibility when something awful happens. But in many instances they are only part of the equation. If the drinking driver has been a guest at a drinking establishment, the operators of that facility have an obligation under the law to see to it that their patrons pose no threat to themselves or others as they leave, and to take action if they do.

A lawsuit filed late last month alleges that not only did employees of a McCandless bar not only fail to fulfill an obligation to keep one patron safe, it says the owner of the bar actually encouraged the patron to overindulge before allowing him to leave.

The patron in question was the 26-year-old son of a top official in West View. Now the official is suing the bar and its owner on behalf of his son's estate. The allegation is that the bar, its employees and the owner acted with reckless and negligent disregard for the well-being of Jeffery Fromlak.

Fromlak died last January after participating in what was billed as "Billy's Winter Beer Olympics." As he was driving home he was involved in a single-car crash and was killed.

The suit filed in Allegheny County court says that Fromlak was at the bar for seven hours that day. It claims that during that time, the bar's owner encouraged customers to binge drink and that employees facilitated the activity. And at the end of t all, the suit says no effort was made to arrange a ride home for him or to call police.

There's been no response to the suit noted from the named defendants at the time this is being written.

Source: WPXI.com, "West View police chief sues bar in connection with son’s death," Aaron Aupperlee, TribLIVE, June 29, 2013

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