Ohio family sues Nashville bars for over-serving driver before 2011 accident

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at 2:46pm

A Cincinnati family is accusing four downtown Nashville bars of over-serving a patron who caused a car collision on Interstate 65 last year.

Jordan Sowards, 24, allegedly drank at the Buck Wild Saloon, Wildhorse Saloon and the now-defunct Graham Central Station before driving the wrong way on I-65 North just across the Davidson County line in Williamson County.

According to a Tennessee Highway Patrol report, Sowards struck a car with three passengers head-on in the early morning hours of Aug. 7, 2011. Vanessa Hudson, Veronica Rose and a minor were all injured in the vehicle struck by Sowards. He was charged with three counts of vehicular assault, one count of reckless endangerment, and one count of driving the wrong way on a divided highway.

According to the lawsuit, Sowards blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit more than 90 minutes after the wreck. The THP report acknowledged the presence of alcohol in the crash.

The lawsuit doesn’t address specific injuries suffered by the Ohioans, but called them “significant” and permanent. All of the passengers, including Sowards, were transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The suit claims that the bars acted negligently and recklessly by continuing to serve Sowards after he was “obviously and visibly” intoxicated.

The lawsuit requests at least $3 million in compensatory damages and punitive damages to be determined at trial.

A phone number listed for Chase’s Sports Bar and Grill was disconnected — as was a number for Grand Central Station’s. A message left for Buck Wild Saloon was immediately not returned.

A spokesman for Gaylord Entertainment, which operates the Wild Horse Saloon, also didn’t return a call as of Wednesday afternoon.

12 Comments on this post:

By: NewYorker1 on 8/15/12 at 1:51

Three million is pocket change for those three businesses. This family should get way more than that. I think Ten million for each person from each bar should do it. I hope they win and the bars shut down.

By: NewYorker1 on 8/15/12 at 2:38

They need to add some diversity down there ie., Jazz, Neo Soul, etc. Country is cool, but not so much of it. If this is music city, add something other than country downtwon.

By: hvillenutcase on 8/15/12 at 3:18

For the Wild Horse it is pocket change for the rest that is actually quite iffy. I will agree with the diversity in music. Growing up in and around Nashville I learned to despise Country... Probably because it is forced on people all over Nashville and the surrounding area.

By: earlyx on 8/15/12 at 3:30

Newyorker1 and hvillenutcase are a couple of idiots. please go drown yourselves .

By: Jughead on 8/15/12 at 3:33

I think they should sue Jesus for turning water into wine. He started the whole ball rolling, and I'm sure the liberal, Christian-hating judges will go along for the hate party.

By: RTungsten on 8/15/12 at 3:46

There used to be a place called Cafe Milano downtown that had jazz, etc. Guess folks didn't go, so it closed up. That is the story with 95% of the businesses down there, they can't survive on tourists alone. Sky high rent and $15-$20 parking doesn't help their plight, either. Want to get folks downtown? Making parking affordable is the first step.

By: global_citizen on 8/16/12 at 6:37

Yeah, three million for any of these bars is pocket change. Bars make tens of millions of dollars a year. That's why you never see any of them going out of business, right?

By: Jughead on 8/16/12 at 7:21

I like goldfish.

By: NewYorker1 on 8/16/12 at 9:04

Downtown needs a place where we can wear couture fashions and step out of limousines while sipping Cristal.

By: Jughead on 8/16/12 at 11:54

I had goldfish for lunch.

By: Moonglow1 on 8/17/12 at 7:18

Moonglow1: The amount of money charged to park downtown is outrageous. It is on par with Washington DC and some other large cities.

By: slzy on 8/17/12 at 2:18

if people only drank wine at weddings or those weddings where Jesus turned water into wine better yet,there would be fewer alcohol related problems.