A big lawsuit is garnering attention after being filed Wednesday. This is one unique suit, as in it a drunk driver sues his friend along with two restaurants. Fox News shared the details on March 8.
James Ruiz, 37, is the drunk driver suing his friend as well as the Blue Corn Cafe and Applebee's. Ruiz says that the restaurants and friend caused him emotional distress because he drove drunk and was convicted of killing Del Lynn Peshlakai and her sister Deshauna after his truck hit their car in 2010. Ruiz is now serving a 40-year prison sentence.
The drunk driver is suing his friend and the restaurants because he claims the defendants put the events into motion that led to his imprisonment. It is worth noting that James Ruiz was out on bond for his fifth DWI arrest at the time of the tragic incident that killed the Peshlakai sisters, who were 19 and 17. His blood-alcohol concentration was 0.22 percent after the crash.
The Peshlakai family filed a lawsuit against both Ruiz and the restaurants, and it is still pending. The restaurants have no comment thus far regarding the lawsuit, and the friend, drinking buddy Gilbert Mendoza, does not seem to have commented yet either. Ruiz is also seeking a new trial regarding his sentence, claiming his attorney was not effective. He thinks he should only be serving 20 years instead of 40.
According to the ABQ Journal, the new lawsuit alleges that Mendoza invited Ruiz to drink at his place and then the two went to the restaurants to continue drinking. He says they were clearly intoxicated, yet both restaurants continued to serve them. He adds that an Applebee's employee working that night knew he was “a habitual drinking alcoholic.” When the men left the Blue Corn Cafe, Mendoza handed the keys to Ruiz, despite knowing his drinking history. Eventually Ruiz plowed into the car carrying the Peshlakai family, killing the girls.
This is one case that is sure to get people riled up, and it will be interesting to see if James Ruiz accomplishes anything with it. Is it fair for the drunk driver to sue his friend and the restaurants over his decision to continue to drink and drive?