AUSTIN (KXAN) - The father of Courtney Griffin is suing Gabrielle Nestande, her boyfriend and the bar where they were drinking on the night before Griffin was killed in a hit-and-run crash.
The civil lawsuit filed Thursday in the Travis County Clerk's Office by Bart Griffin alleges that Nestande was negligent by driving after drinking, that Clive bar and its staff were negligent for continuing to serve Nestande and that William Marchbanks was negligent for allowing his girlfriend to drive knowing that she'd been drinking.
"At the time of the occurrence in question, Defendant Nestande was driving with reckless disregard for the safety of others," the suit says. "She was drunk and looking at her smart phone instead of paying attention to the road."
Nestande, a former aide to a state lawmaker, was convicted of criminally negligent homicide in Courtney Griffin's death on May 27, 2011. Nestande was given a 10-year suspended sentence, but she must serve 180 days in jail and be supervised by probation authorities once she is released.
The jury opted not to convict Nestande of intoxicated manslaughter and failing to stop and render aid.
Bart Griffin's suit is the second civil action filed after Nestande's criminal trial in February. Courtney Griffin's mother, Laurie, filed a suit against Nestande and Clive Bar in March. Both actions seek at least $1 million in damages.
In his lawsuit, Bart Griffin cites evidence and testimony from Nestande's criminal trial to support his contention that she was drunk at the time of the fatal crash. A female friend of Gabrielle Nestande who was with her at Clive Bar testified that she appeared "wasted" and "sloppy."
The same friend said Nestande was stumbling.
It also came out in the trial that in the days after the accident, Marchbanks told a friend that he should not have
let Nestande leave his home that night, but he testified that he made the statement not because she was drunk, but because it would have prevented the entire tragedy from happening.
According to other Marchbanks' testimony, Nestande left his house around 12:30 a.m. May 26, 2011, before returning about 15- to 20 minutes later. She said she was driving down Exposition Boulevard and that someone had thrown a rock at her windshield.
Believing some kids were causing trouble, Marchbanks testified to walking around the neighborhood to see if he could find them but said he did not walk down Exposition Boulevard. When he returned home, he said Nestande was asleep in his bed.
Receipts Nestande's table at Clive Bar were shown to the criminal trial jury from the night before the accident were shown to the jury indicating that Nestande and and a group of friends paid for several beers, vodka drinks and shots over a three-hour span.
But Michael McMillan, an employee at the Clive Bar, testified that just because drinks are charged to someone's tab does not mean that person consumed all of the drinks.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could oust her from office.
Late Saturday night into early Sunday morning, a light band of freezing drizzle traversed the I-35 corridor eastward. With sub-freezing temperatures, even the light precipitation created major problems.
A 10-year-old was killed while standing outside a vehicle after the child's family was involved in a fender bender, DPS said.
Austin Police confirm they have located an 82-year-old women who went missing last night.
APD is responding to a 25 vehicle accident near the 5400 block of Ed Bluestein near Thurgood Ave.
A man is dead after being hit by several vehicles in the eastbound lane of Highway 71 Saturday night.