Courtney Griffin's mother files lawsuit against Nestande, Clive Bar
Laurie Griffin, the mother of Courtney Griffin, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against 25-year-old Gabrielle Nestande and Clive Bar, according to the Austin-based law firm Slack & Davis.
According to a press release from Slack & Davis, Griffin’s mother is seeking more than $1 million in damages on four counts against Nestande: negligence, gross negligence, negligence per se and negligent infliction of a bodily injury.
Courtney Griffin, 30, was killed in the early morning hours of May 27, 2011 in a hit-and-run accident while walking home from a friend’s West Austin home. It was determined that she was struck by a black BMW driven by Gabrielle Nestande, a then-23-year-old Capitol staffer.
On February 22nd, Nestande was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide and was sentenced to 10 years of probation and a $10,000 fine. She was found not guilty of failure to stop and render aid.
During the trial, it was revealed that Nestande had been drinking the night before the accident. Video of Nestande drinking a shot at Clive Bar just an hour before the accident was played before the jury as evidence.
The lawsuit includes one count against Clive Bar for providing alcohol to an intoxicated adult.
“We need to make our community safer by ensuring that drunk drivers and the bars that over serve them pay for the injuries they cause,” attorney Suzanne Kaplan said in the release. “The result in the criminal case against Nestande was a slap on the wrist and is an unacceptable end to such a devastating tragedy.”
Griffin’s father, Bart Griffin, was quiet after Nestande’s sentencing, but spoke with media about one week later on February 28, what would have been Courtney Griffin’s 32nd birthday. He said that he was disappointed in the jury’s decision and believes “the evidence was there” to prove she was intoxicated.
He is working with state legislators to raise the crime of failure to stop and render aid from a third to second degree felony
Nestande will be back in court on March 25 when the judge will determine the details of her probation and could add up to 180 days of jail time to her sentence.