Local Bar Named in Lawsuit Over 2009 DUI Death
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 Royal Palm Beach Online

Local Bar Named in Lawsuit Over 2009 DUI Death

November 16, 2011
A Royal Palm Beach bar is one of three being sued for a drunk driving death in the Village in 2009.
A Royal Palm Beach bar is one of three being sued for a drunk driving death in the Village in 2009.
Connolly's Sports Bar and Grill in Royal Palm Beach is one of three area bars named in a cause of action lawsuit filed by a Boynton Beach family over a drunk driving death in the Village in July 2009.

John Serratore was killed at the intersection of Southern Boulevard and Lamstein Lane by Tracy Klinedinst, who slammed into the driver's side of Serratore's van after a drinking binge that began at 7:30 a.m. at Foster's Too Lounge on Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach. Klinedinst continued to Connolly's in Royal Palm Beach, then went to Foster's Shak on Belvedere Road in West Palm Beach. All three bars that served Klinedinst are named in the lawsuit.

The establishments being sued, however, are standing behind Florida law, which states that bars and bartenders cannot be held liable for serving people who become intoxicated and then hurt someone.

But the lawyer for the Serratore family, David Glatthorn, notes a loop hole in the law that states an establishment can not "knowingly serve a habitual drunk," which he contends Klinedinst clearly was.

"They [the bars and bartenders] are entitled to make a living, but you don't give matches to a pyromaniac," Glatthorn told WPEC-CBS News Channel 12.

The deadly incident occurred when Klinedinst blew the red light at Southern and Lamstein at 4:30 p.m., striking Serratores' vehicle while fleeing the scene of another accident. He later pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Reports indicate that Klinedinst was driven in his own car from Foster's to Connolly's by two concerned individuals who were worried about his condition. They were assured by Klinedinst that he would walk home from Connolly's, gave the bartender at the establishment his keys and ordered him food before leaving.

Klinedinst reportedly left Connolly's on his own and ended up back in his vehicle. He next drove to Foster's Shak, where he continued to drink prior to the accident.
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