In early June of 2015, a drunk driver struck and killed a 31-year-old
woman who was jogging along Lakeside Drive in Harveys Lake. The driver, a
54-year-old male who had been drinking at Grotto Pizza, fled the scene
of the accident and was found hours later by police with a blood alcohol
concentration (BAC) 2 ½ times the legal limit. After the incident, the
woman’s family filed a lawsuit against Grotto Pizza and American Legion
Riders Post 672, a venue located in Dallas, Pennsylvania. Attorney Neil O’Donnell
is representing the estate of the woman who lost her life in the crash.
There are several issues surrounding the case. First, Grotto Pizza and
American Legion Riders Post 672 oversold the man responsible for the DUI
crash even though he was visibly intoxicated. Multiple cameras in the
pizzeria recorded the defendant being overserved. However, Grotto failed
to preserve this crucial video evidence. Neil O’Donnell filed a motion
arguing that Grotto assured law enforcement and the estate of the
deceased woman that it would preserve all video evidence from the date
of the accident. The motion argues Grotto destroyed this crucial video
evidence in bad faith.In the motion, Neil O’Donnell wrote “Had Grotto
fulfilled its duty to preserve all of the surveillance video from that
night,the jury would have a much clearer picture as to whether Michael
Scavone was visibly intoxicated at the time of being served. Grotto must
not be permitted to destroy extremely relevant evidence and then argue
to a judge or jury that there is no evidence to support the plaintiff’s
claim.” Neil O’Donnell asked the Luzerne County Judge to grant a summary
judgment in favor of the plaintiff’s estate.The defendant is serving 7
to 16 years in prison for vehicular homicide, causing an accident
involving death or injury and two counts of driving under the influence
of alcohol.

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