It’s the largest award any Texas jury has awarded in an injury case. In fact, it more than doubles the previous largest one which was $150 billion. The circumstances surrounding the case make it understandable why the verdict was so large.
Tamra Kay Kindred was on her way home after picking up her 16-year-old granddaughter, Aujuni Tamay Anderson, from her job at Cici’s Pizza on November 12, 2017. She was driving through an intersection in Corpus Christi, Texas, when a man ran a red light and hit them, according to a complaint filed in 2018.
Kindred and Anderson died in the crash, along with the driver of the other car, Joshua Delbosque, who was intoxicated.
The family of Kindred and Anderson sued the bar Delbosque had been at for negligence, alleging bartenders there overserved him. The lawsuit also named the bar’s owner.
However, no one, including the family’s lawyers, believe the victims will ever receive a dime. Why? The restaurant has since closed and didn’t have any insurance to cover such a tragedy. Unfortunately, Texas law doesn’t require such establishments to carry insurance. So, the family will be left with a pyrrhic victory and the negligent parties won’t be held financially liable for the pain and suffering they caused.
Some have commented that it’s an important symbolic victory and sends a clear message about the dangers of drunk driving both for those who engage in it and those who serve alcohol to the intoxicated. It seems to me that the message is diluted to the point of being meaningless when there are no real-world consequences for those who caused such a tragedy.