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Accident Victims’ Widows File Lawsuit Against Drunk Driver and Bars Who Served Him

Widows of two motorcyclists who were killed in a drunk driving accident last year have filed suit against the driver responsible and the bars who served him. Four others, who were also injured in the accident, have joined the action to recoup compensation for their injuries and the trauma they’ve endured.

In July 2011, a group called the Last Chance Motorcycle Club was riding to a friend’s funeral in Pennsylvania. There were six men in the group. Keith Michaelson and Michael Zadoyko were among them.

The group of New Jersey residents was actually made up of recovering alcoholics and addicts, men who had reformed their lives and were committed to helping others live clean and sober.

As they were riding on Route 512, a pickup made a wide turn and plowed through the group, instantly killing both Michaelson and Zadoyko. Now their widows want justice.

John Heaney III had reportedly been drinking at multiple bars that night, and those bars are also named in the lawsuit, according to news reports. The plaintiffs claim they should have recognized that Heaney, a retired police officer, was intoxicated and stopped serving him or stepped in to prevent him from driving, the article states.

Michaelson and Zadoyko were active members of Alcoholics Anonymous, counseling others and speaking at events about the dangers of alcoholism and even drinking and driving. They had met at an A.A. meeting nearly two decades ago.

New Jersey also has a law that allows drunk driving accident victims to sue the bars that served the at-fault driver. Called the “dram shop law,” this law lets bars know that they too have a role to play in preventing drunk driving accidents.

Victims of such accidents like this are often entitled to compensation not only for their injuries and the related medical costs, but for money for lost time from work, pain and suffering, and ongoing treatment.

About Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C.

Davis Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., partner Samuel L. Davis has argued cases involving the dram shop law, even litigating before the Supreme Court of New Jersey in Kiku v. Choi. Our attorneys have represented numerous clients injured in drunk driving accidents, working to get them the compensation they deserve.

If you were involved in a New Jersey or New York drunk driving accident and were hurt or if a loved one was killed by a drunk driver, we may be able to help. Contact our offices today by calling (800) LAW-2000 or by filling out our online contact form. We can offer you a free consultation and some potentially valuable legal advice.