11 July, 2017
Scores strip club faces second suit over drunken patron who died
Article witten by SCN. Additional content from palmbeachpost.com - Jane Musgrave.
For the second time in less than two years, a Palm Springs strip club has been accused of causing the death of a patron who died in an alcohol-fueled traffic accident.
A case now winding its way through Palm Beach County Circuit Court, claims Scores Palm Beach should have stopped serving Jeremy Standridge before he became inebriated. The 26-year-old mechanic died in a March 2016 single-vehicle crash on South Congress Avenue after leaving the club he frequented, according to the lawsuit attorney Ryan Fogg filed in May on behalf of Standridge's mother.
Standridge had a blood-alcohol level of 0.30 percent - nearly four times the 0.08 percent at which Florida drivers are considered impaired, according to an autopsy by the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner's Office.
Last month, the club on Lake Worth Road settled a similar lawsuit filed against it by the wife of Rolando Salguero Rodriguez. The 53-year-old Boynton Beach man died in November 2015 after being struck by a truck while walking less than a block from the club. Court records show driver Charles Ryan also settled the lawsuit attorney Spencer Kuvin filed against him and Scores.
Attorney James Sposato, who represents Scores, declined comment on the settlement, saying it was confidential. But, he said, the club protects its customers. "Scores upholds the highest standards for their patrons," he said.
Both he and Fogg said such cases are difficult to prove. To be held responsible, a bar has to knowingly serve alcohol to someone who is underage or to someone who is "habitually addicted to alcohol."
"You have to know someone has a drinking problem," Sposato said. "It's not just because you go into a bar and have several beers - that's middle America."
If a patron repeatedly becomes belligerent or shows other signs of being unable to handle alcohol, the bar might be on notice. "This kid was not a problem," he said of Standridge.
But Standridge had a serious drinking problem, Fogg said. He was attending Alcoholic Anonymous meetings, something he suspects Standridge shared with bartenders and other workers.
In the three months before his death, Standridge's bank records show he visited the club 13 times and spent nearly $3,000. "He frequented this place multiple, multiple times," Fogg said. "They all knew him."
Further, he said, with such a high blood-alcohol level, Standridge had to be staggering, slurring his words or showing other signs of being drunk. "This strip club should have looked out for him," Fogg said. "Call him an Uber or call him a cab."
But, Sposato countered, Standridge left the club hours before he was found dead along Congress Avenue. Palm Beach County sheriff's deputies said Standridge lost control of his truck near JFK Medical Center. It spun off the road, knocking over a utility pole, metal light pole and a palm tree. The force caused the truck to roll and Standridge was ejected.
Standridge may have left the club and gone somewhere else, Sposato said. "The facts will come out" as the lawsuit progesses, he said.