The Front Porch faces legal action

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Ashley Brown

Staff Writer

Emma Daniel

Staff Writer

The father of a 19-year-old woman, who was killed in a car accident in early 2016, is pursuing legal action against a Troy business for his daughter’s death.

On Feb. 20, 2016, Elizabeth “Farris” English, of Elba, and Joy Matthew Moses, a 24-year-old computer science graduate student from Troy, were killed in a motor vehicle accident when they collided head-on, according to the official press release from the Alabama State Troopers involved in the investigation.

Chris English, Farris English’s father, filed a claim against Beef O’Brady’s in Enterprise and The Front Porch in Troy. The claim was filed with the Coffee County Circuit Court on Sept. 25, 2017, and the two businesses have 30 days from the time the complaint was served to respond.

Chris English’s attorney, Blaine Stevens, said he believes the businesses have between 10 and 14 days left to respond.

The wreck took place around 3:45 a.m. on Alabama Highway 167 at the 38.8 mile marker, and five other people were sent to the hospital due to injuries — one person in Farris English’s car and four people in Moses’ vehicle, according to the Alabama State Troopers.

Stevens said Chris English believes that The Front Porch is liable for his daughter’s death due to two Alabama statutes including the Dram Shop Act and the Civil Damages Act, which serve as the basis for his lawsuit.

“We intend to seek damages for her death,” Stevens said.

The Civil Damages Act prohibits the sale of alcohol to minors and also provides that parents of minors have a right to file a lawsuit against any person who unlawfully sells or furnishes alcohol to a minor.

Stevens said Farris English’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.144 percent.

According to the Division of Motor Vehicles, the legal BAC limit for persons over the age of 21 is 0.08 percent.

Chris English also believes the Dram Shop Act was violated, his lawyer said. The act forbids the sale of alcohol to those who are visibly drunk. The Dram Shop Act also makes a business liable if the drunk person injures someone after being served in the establishment.

Stevens said he and his clients have two goals for this case.

“They (the English family) want the Dram Shop Act and the Civil Damages Act to be enforced in this case,” Stevens said.  “There’s no excuse for businesses selling to minors, especially under the circumstances in this case.

“Second, it’s that this family has lost a beautiful, vibrant young woman, and there’s a hole in that family, and there’s a hole in the community because of her death.”

No one answered the telephone at The Front Porch when the Tropolitan called for comment.

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