TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A woman permanently disabled after being hit by a drunk driver, who was an employee of Potbelly's, has been awarded nearly $31 million.
A Tallahassee jury found local bars Potbelly's and Cantina 1010 Restaurant and Tequila Bar guilty in a hit and run case that left Jacquelyn Faircloth, who was 18 at the time, permanently disabled.
The employee, who was underage at the time, had been drinking at Potbelly's over the course of four hours and was driving his pickup truck at a high rate of speed.
Investigators say Faircloth had been drinking at Cantina 101 restaurant and Tequila Bar.
The crash left her with a severe brain injury, making her unable to walk, talk or even feed herself.
Dwyer was convicted and has served a two-and-a-half-year sentence.
“Sadly, this senseless accident, in which illegal underage drinking played a major role,has left Jacquelyn incapacitated for life," said Don Hinkle, who represented Faircloth. "This young woman was a member of the National Honor Society and several other organizations. She had planned to attend FSU upon graduation from high school and was interested in a career in communications and film production. Instead, she requires expensive treatments and full-time care. This has been devastating for her and her family and never should have happened.”
Now, Cantina is no longer in business.
In a statement to WTXL, Dan Gilbertson on behalf of Main Street Entertainment said:
”This is a tragic issue. Throughout this unfortunate process we have witnessed the incredible support, love, and dedication a family is capable of showing to a loved one who has sustained such devastating injuries. However, we believe the law was misapplied, the jury reached the wrong conclusion in this matter, and we will appeal the verdict. Main Street Entertainment has procedures in place to do everything we can to ensure that minors are not served alcohol. Out of respect for Jacquelyn Faircloth and her family, we have no further comment at this time.”