EASTON, Pa. | The woman who was badly injured in an early-morning crash that closed Route 22 for nine hours last month is suing the driver and the two clubs her attorney alleges continued to serve the intoxicated man alcohol.
Attorney Mark Altemose on Thursday filed a four-count civil suit in Northampton County Court against Alfredo G. Delgado, the 40-year-old North Whitehall Township man who was driving the high-end sports car that crashed into the back of a truck on Route 22 on Sept. 19.
Also named in the suit are the H2O Hookah Lounge and Revel Social nightclubs in Bethlehem and the respective proprietors. The lawsuit alleges staff at the clubs continued to serve Delgado alcohol despite the fact he was visibly intoxicated. The suit was filed on behalf of Kelsey Gibson, of Philadelphia.
The crash occurred along westbound Route 22 near the Airport Road interchange in Lehigh County about 3:30 a.m. on Sept. 19. Pennsylvania State Police said Delgado’s McLaren 720S collided with the back of a box truck, which was not stopped for traffic.
Neither Delgado nor the driver of the truck were injured, but Delgado’s passenger – the 30-year-old Gibson – was thrown from the car. State police later reported she was not wearing a seatbelt.
A state police spokesman said authorities have not filed charges against Delgado. Trooper Nathan Branosky said search warrants are still being executed and that the accident reconstruction team is still investigating the crash.
We spoke to Alfred Delgado, who said he wanted to talk to his attorney before commenting.
A H2O Hookah Lounge says they are a BYO establishment and that they believe their inclusion in the lawsuit is a mistake.
Revel Social says they have no comment on the lawsuit but that they wish Gibson well in her recovery.
The lawsuit does not specify where Delgado started drinking the night of Sept. 18, only that staff at both clubs continued to serve him despite being clearly drunk. Neither Revel Social, nor H2O Hookah Lounge “stopped, nor attempted to stop serving alcohol to … Delgado, and instead continued to serve him while visibly intoxicated,” according to the lawsuit.
In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to serve alcohol to a “visibly intoxicated person,” according to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. The question becomes what constitutes visibly intoxicated, and the PLCB indicates “visible intoxication is a level of impairment that is evident upon common observation such as a person's behavior or appearance.” The state offers training for managers and servers in the Responsible Alcohol Management Program or RAMP.
The lawsuit is seeking in excess of $50,000 for each of the four counts of alleged “negligence, carelessness and recklessness.”