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Newlywed groom settles lawsuits against two bars

By: The Associated Press//October 3, 2023//

Newlywed groom settles lawsuits against two bars

By: The Associated Press//October 3, 2023//

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FOLLY BEACH — Two bars accused of overserving a woman who authorities say drunkenly hit a golf cart carrying a newlywed couple away from their reception, killing the bride, have reached a tentative settlement with the groom, who was seriously injured.

The Drop In Bar & Deli and The Crab Shack have agreed to pay “certain sums” to Aric Hutchinson that were described by his lawyer as “reasonable,” according to a Sept. 28 petition for approval in Charleston County Court in South Carolina.

The settlement is confidential, and the case will continue against other defendants, Hutchinson’s attorney, Daniel Dalton, said in an email. A judge must approve the settlement.

The April 28 crash killed Samantha Miller, 34, and injured Hutchinson and two other occupants of the golf cart. Hutchinson suffered a brain injury and multiple broken bones.

An attorney for The Crab Shack did not respond Monday afternoon to an email from AP seeking more details. The AP also sent a request for comment to the email listed on Drop In’s website.

Hutchinson charged in a wrongful death lawsuit that Jamie Lee Komoroski “slurred and staggered” across several bars around Folly Beach before speeding in her Toyota Camry with a blood-alcohol concentration more than three times the legal limit.

El Gallo Bar & Grill, Snapper Jacks, The Drop In Bar & Deli, and The Crab Shack all either allowed her to become intoxicated or continued selling alcohol when she had already grown far too drunk, according to the lawsuit, brought by Hutchinson as the manager of his late wife’s estate.

That complaint also accuses Komoroski’s employer of negligence and recklessness. An unnamed supervisor at Taco Boy — where Komoroski had recently begun serving at the time of the crash — allegedly coerced her into consuming “a dangerous amount of alcohol” at an employee function that night. The restaurant has denied there was an officially sanctioned work event.

A separate criminal case recently took a step forward when a state grand jury indicted Komoroski. Court documents filed last month show that indictments returned Sept. 12 charge Komoroski with felonious driving under the influence resulting in death, reckless homicide, and two counts of felonious driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury.

Her attorneys did not respond immediately to an email seeking comment.

Komoroski was denied bond this summer while facing charges of reckless vehicular homicide and three counts of driving under the influence causing death or great bodily injury.

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