A pair of grandparents and a grandchild who were seriously injured after their car was hit by an allegedly drunk driver have settled a lawsuit against the Spartanburg restaurant that served him for $1.235 million, their attorney reports.

Dell and Margie Johnson and their minor granddaughter were traveling south on U.S. 221 in March 2017 and were waiting in the turning lane when a truck being driven by David Shealy crossed the center line and struck their car head-on, said Ryan Langley of Hodge & Langley in Spartanburg, who represented the Johnsons.

Margie Johnson suffered a fractured tibia, ulnar, and patella. Dell Johnson suffered broken ribs, a broken pelvis, and a head injury that causes seizures. Shealy was taken to the hospital with significant injuries, Langley said.

The Johnsons alleged that Shealy had eaten lunch at Chief’s Wings and Firewater in Spartanburg, which is owned by Sparkle Entertainment, and that he had drunk numerous alcoholic beverages there.

Shealy said he had had only two drinks. The restaurant argued that Shealy’s blood alcohol level after the crash did not show extreme intoxication, and that there was no record proving that Shealy had ever even been at the restaurant.

The Johnsons, meanwhile, contended that the restaurant violated a number of industry standards for recordkeeping, documentation, and server supervision. Langley said that “the state trooper’s testimony as to the intoxication of Shealy would have carried the day in a jury trial.”

Bill Duncan of Butler Means Evins & Browne in Spartanburg represented Sparkle City Entertainment. He could not be reached for comment.


Follow Bill Cresenzo on Twitter @bcresenzosclw



Amount: $1.235 million

Injuries alleged: Fractured tibia, ulnar, and patella; broken ribs, broken pelvis, and head injury causing significant seizures

Case name: Margie Johnson, individually and as POA for Dell Johnson, et. al. vs. Sparkle City Entertainment, LLC d/b/a Chiefs Wings & Firewater, et. al.

Court: Spartanburg County Circuit Court

Date of Settlement: April 24, 2019

Attorneys for Plaintiff: Ryan Langley of Hodge & Langley in Spartanburg

Attorney for defendants: Bill Duncan of Butler Means Evins & Browne in Spartanburg

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