Eatery settles wrongful death suit for $1.1 million

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 06, 2012 3:21 PM
Eatery settles wrongful death suit for $1.1 million

By Harriet McLeod

CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - The owner of a South Carolina restaurant has agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a man killed last December in a fiery car crash.

Quentin Gregory Miller, 32, died on December 17 when his car was struck from behind on a bridge near Charleston in an early morning collision and burst into flames, according to police.

The driver of the vehicle that struck Miller's, Adam Joseph Brunelle, was an assistant manager for Charleston's Husk restaurant at the time. He was charged with felony driving under the influence and is free on bail awaiting trial.

In the suit, Miller's family said Husk allowed Brunelle to drink alcohol at the restaurant past the legal bar closing time of 2 a.m., the family's attorney said.

A police report shows Brunelle's blood alcohol level was .24, three times the legal limit in South Carolina.

Husk's owner, Neighborhood Dining Group, and Peerless Indemnity Insurance Company will pay the settlement money to Miller's parents and common law wife, according to court documents. The settlement agreement will be finalized on Thursday, August 9.

Husk was named "Best New Restaurant in America" by Bon Appetit magazine in 2011.

(Editing By Tom Brown, Cynthia Johnston and Andre Grenon)