Drunk Driver Sues Friend In New Mexico, Seeking Monetary Damages From Applebees, Blue Corn Cafe

Mar 08, 2013 03:30 PM EST | Matt Mercuro

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Applebee's

An Applebee's restaurant similar to the one Ruiz is suing over the fact that he was served alcohol despite being a "habitual alcoholic"
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons)

A repeat drunk driver convicted of a crash that took the lives of two teenagers is now suing his friend and two Santa Fe restaurants that served him alcohol according to the Associated Press.

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James Ruiz, 37, filed a lawsuit on Mar. 6 in New Mexico District Court and is reportedly seeking monetary damages from his drinking buddy that he was with before the crash as well as a Applebee's and Blue Corn Café according to The Albuquerque Journal.

The lawsuit was filed by Ruiz without a lawyer and claims the two restaurants and his friend caused Ruiz "emotional distress due to the loss of liberty and enjoyment of life" after he was served a number of drinks back in 2010.

Ruiz stated in his suit that he was convicted and incarcerated because of "a chain of events the defendants set in motion" according to the Associated Press. Ruiz claims an Applebees worker knew he was "a habitual drinking alcoholic" yet served him anyway.

Santa Fe police reported that Ruiz crashed his truck into a car and killed two teenagers, a 19 and 17-year-old and is now serving a 40-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in 2011.

Ruiz was out on bond on his fifth DWI arrest when the crash occurred according to a police report. His blood-alcohol level at the time was 0.22 percent, three times the legal limit while operating a motor vehicle.

Likewise, the parents of the two individuals killed by Ruiz have filed a suit against the restaurants, Ruiz, his friend, and others according to the Examiner. The parents were injured in the crash that took their daughters lives.

The suit is pending in state district court.

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