Indiana Bar Ordered to Pay in Drunk Driving Crash


An Indiana bar has been ordered to pay a settlement of $704,649 to a motorcyclist who is totally disabled as a result of a crash caused by a drunk driver who had been a patron at the establishment the night of the wreck. The bar ordered to pay is Jake’s Roadhouse in West Lafayette, Indiana. Christopher Harmon, 22, has been in a coma since the accident in September 2004 where he suffered a traumatic brain injury.

The Harmons agreed to accept the settlement with the bar’s insurance company, Lexington Insurance Company, under a $1 million liquor liability insurance policy issued to Jake’s Roadhouse; in exchange, the Harmons release Jake’s from further legal liability.

The patron who left Jake’s after drinking, 24-year-old Nicole M. Fox, drove left of center that night causing three motorcyclists to crash. Fox drove away from the crash and was uncooperative with police when they caught up with her farther down the road. Ms. Fox had been arrested in December 2003 for public intoxication and underage drinking, and she was arrested for drunken driving just two weeks before the September crash that seriously and permanently injured the cyclists. The judge in the case imposed a 14-year sentence, the maximum under Fox’s plea agreement, and suspended four years of that sentence. She will serve ten years.

Another motorcyclist involved in the wreck, Jerry Raiff, is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.