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Family sues restaurants for serving underage son alcohol before coma

The Smith family accuses Twin Peaks and KickShot Billiards of serving their 19-year-old son alcohol before an incident that left him severely injured.
Family sues restaurants for serving underage son alcohol before coma
Posted at 9:38 AM, Apr 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-12 11:38:55-04

“It’s not hard to be safe and card people.”

That's what a Northern Kentucky family's attorney is saying after he says alcohol contributed to a March 2023 incident that left a young man in a coma.

The Smith family is suing two restaurants — Twin Peaks and KickShot Billiards — for serving alcohol to minors and gross negligence after their underage son drank at the establishments. They're also suing FAT Brands for negligence, which is the company that owns Twin Peaks.

“In this case, this Twin Peaks chose not to card a table full of kids. They chose to serve him shots and beers,” said David Barber, the attorney representing the family.

Barber said alcohol contributed to an incident in March 2023 that resulted in Sean Smith suffering severe and potentially fatal injuries. 

After 19-year-old Sean and his group left the restaurants they went to a state park. Sean was sitting on the back of a car when the driver took off, and Sean hit the ground. Barber said he was conscious for a short period of time before he was airlifted to the hospital.

“Sean… broke multiple bones in his skull and in his spine, and suffered [a] brain stem injury that has left him basically in a coma ever since,” Barber said.

He said Sean was with other minors at the time.

“This Twin Peaks was known locally to this group of kids that Sean was with as a place where they can go and order alcohol without being carded, that's why they went there,” Barber added. “Kentucky law says if Twin Peaks makes that choice to serve a minor then they’re responsible for what happens later.”

He said the group then briefly stopped at KickShot after they were served at Twin Peaks.

“The group was served a bucket of alcoholic beverages without being ID'ed and then those were shared. That’s also against Kentucky law,” Barber said, adding that Sean's condition is getting worse. "They’re going to have to make some really tough choices before long."

He said the family's medical bills are approaching $3 million and that they are seeking to hold the restaurants accountable to prevent this from ever happening to another family.

Scripps News Cincinnati has reached out to Twin Peaks, KickShot and FAT Brands for statements. We have yet to get a response.

This story was originally published by Jessica Hart at Scripps News Cincinnati.


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