Court greenlights lawsuit against Clay liquor store in DUI crash that killed Jacksonville woman

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  • | 12:00 p.m. December 19, 2014
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A state appeals court this week said a lawsuit can move forward against a liquor store that sold alcohol to a minor involved in a 2011 car accident that killed a Jacksonville woman.

The 1st District Court of Appeal on Wednesday said the estate of Catherine Case can pursue the lawsuit against Bombay Liquors and co-owner Ravindu Patel, who was accused of selling alcohol to 17-year-old Andrews Newman.

The appeals court, which overturned a decision in favor of the liquor store by a Clay County circuit judge, also said the estate can seek punitive damages. Case, 22, was killed in a March 2011 accident in a head-on crash in Clay County with a vehicle driven by Newman.

The lawsuit contends Patel “sold alcohol to Andrews (Newman) on several occasions without requiring proof of age, Andrews’ youthful appearance notwithstanding, including on the night of the fatal accident,’’ said the appeals-court opinion, written by Judge Robert Benton and joined by judges William

Van Nortwick and Nikki Ann Clark.

Newman, now 21, is serving an 11-year prison sentence for DUI manslaughter, according to information on the Department of Corrections website.