Groom suing alleged drunken driver and bars that served her

FAN Editor

Aric Hutchinson, whose bride Samantha Miller was killed by an alleged drunken driver on their wedding night, is now suing the woman who hit their golf cart with her rental car. Hutchinson is also suing the bars that the woman, Jamie Lee Komoroski, allegedly went to before the crash.

On April 28, Hutchinson and Miller were having their “perfect” wedding day near Charleston, the suit reads. “Unbeknownst to Sam, Aric, and their wedding party, Jamie Komoroski and the other Defendants were creating a different kind of day – one that would set in motion a course of events ultimately transforming a fairytale love story into a fateful night of unspeakable tragedy,” the suit states.

The suit alleges Komoroski had a “booze filled day” and when she was taken into police custody after the accident, her blood alcohol content was “0.261, more than three times the legal limit.”

The 25-year-old, who is facing charges of reckless vehicular homicide and three counts of driving under the influence causing death, allegedly started drinking at a bar and restaurant near Daniel Island then made her way to Folly Island, where she stopped by three other bars and restaurants.

The suit blames the bars for serving a “notably and visibly intoxicated” Komorowski and letting her consume “additional and excessive amounts of alcohol.” It also alleges the bars allowed her to leave in her “dangerously” intoxicated state and also that she mistakenly drove in the opposite direction of her home “in the stupor of a drunken haze.” 

Authorities said she was driving 65 miles per hour when her car crashed into a golf cart carrying the bride, who died, and the groom and two others, who were injured. Two others injured in the crash — Benjamin Garrett and Aric’s minor nephew, B.G. — are listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

According to a GoFundMe page set up for Hutchinson after the tragedy, he suffered broken bones, a brain injury and faces a long recovery.

The suit also names Taco Boy, the Folly Beach restaurant where Komoroski was recently hired, saying there was a practice of drinking alcohol at company meetings and functions. 

In a statement to CBS News, Melissa Reardon, communications director for Taco Boy, said Komoroski was not at the restaurant the day of the accident, nor was she served alcohol by anyone on the staff. There was no “officially organized employee function around drinking” that day Reardon said. 

“We have confirmed this by watching 16 hours of video footage from multiple cameras, staff interviews with everyone working that day, and by reviewing all sales receipts,” Reardon said, adding that Komoroski only trained for the job for two days before the accident and there were no “red flags” in her background check. 

Hutchinson believes “a direct and proximate result of the negligent, grossly negligent, reckless, willful, and wanton acts and omissions of these Defendants, in combination or to the exclusion of each other, Samantha Miller experienced conscious physical pain and suffering, conscious mental anguish and conscious emotional distress prior to her death,” according to the suit. 

He is suing for funeral and burial expenses as well as actual damages and punitive damages, to be determined at trial. He is requesting a jury trial.

The Hutchinson family’s attorney, Danny Dalton said in a statement to CBS News: “The state grants restaurants and bars a license for the privilege to serve alcohol, and with that privilege comes a responsibility to the community to serve patrons responsibly and to deny service to individuals who are visibly intoxicated.”

Dalton said while there are still many details about the day they do not yet know, filing a lawsuit, allows them to “begin the legal discovery process that allows us to get the answers that Samantha’s family deserves.”

CBS News has reached out to lawyers Komoroski as well as the restaurants and bars listed as defendants in the lawsuit and is awaiting response. 

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