Four people were killed in an auto accident after one of the drivers had ‘unlimited access’ to alcohol at a law school’s annual ‘Barrister’s Ball,’ according to the father of one of the victims. The four victims were Germania Huntington, Shawn Huntington, Amy Lopez and law student Anwar Janania. Janania was the driver of his own vehicle, who was drunk at the time. The four victims burned to death in the accident when the driver operated the vehicle on the wrong side of the road. The law school has been sued by Lopez’s father in Miami-Dade County Court, according to Courthouse News Service.
The lawsuit was filed against St. Thomas University, which hosted the party, along with Scarlett’s Cabaret and State Farm Insurance. Scarlett’s Cabaret is a strip club where Janania continued to drink.
According to the lawsuit, “On March 17, 2012, defendant St. Thomas University Law School sponsored and hosted a formal event called the ‘Barrister’s Ball’ at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 provided student invitees with unlimited access to alcoholic beverages. [Sic.]”
Lopez said that the event occurs annually and that the university knows “that students generally consumed excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages at all past ‘Barrister’s Ball’ events.”
The lawsuit also said, “On March 17, 2012, Anwar Janania … was a first year law student at St. Thomas University, and he attended said event where he consumed an unlimited and excessive amount of alcoholic beverages. Prior to March 17, 2012, Janania had a serious drinking problem and habitually consumed alcohol. On March 17, 2012, Janania became visibly and noticeably intoxicated at the St. Thomas Law School Barrister’s ball. Administration and/or representatives of St. Thomas knew or should have known of Mr. Janania’s past issue with the alcohol and his current intoxication yet St. Thomas administration and/or representatives made no effort to prevent Mr. Janania from leaving the ball and driving his vehicle in his drunken state. Janania then drove his 2010 Volvo to the ‘strip club’ known as Scarlett’s Cabaret in Hallandale, where he entered the club in a drunken state and proceeded to become even more intoxicated.”
When Janania left Scarlett’s Cabaret, “Janania lost control of his vehicle when driving in the westbound lanes of the Gratigny Parkway and began driving in the wrong direction on the expressway, against oncoming traffic,” according to the lawsuit.
The vehicle being driven by Janania collided head-on with the Mazda CX-7, which was being driven by the Huntington couple. Amy Lopez was a passenger in their vehicle. “Janania’s Volvo collided head on into the Huntington/Lopez vehicle and both cars burst into flames. Amy Lopez, Germania Huntington and Shawn Huntington burned to death in their vehicle.
The blood alcohol level for Janania was over twice the legal limit. Amy Lopez’s father is asking for damages for statutory liability from the school and the strip club. Lopez has also claimed breach of contract against State Farm, which he said has not honored the $100,000 uninsured/underinsured coverage for Germania Huntington.