24-Year-Old Drunk Driver Victim Awarded $2.85 Million in Damages

February 27, 2014

A 24-year-old Ohio woman was awarded $2.85 million for injuries she suffered in a car accident caused by a drunk driver.

In an unusual aspect to a drunk driving case, a partner with the personal injury firm of Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA and the victim’s attorney, said the driver’s employee, a local strip club called “The Living Room,” was partially at fault.

Nicole Johnson Staeuble, now 24 of Huber Heights, Ohio, was critically injured when a drunk driver hit her on the highway and drove her car into a wall on July 4, 2010.

Johnson-Staeuble, a certified nurse assistant, suffered multiple injuries and has had 11 surgeries since the accident. She faces a lifetime disability and mounting medical bills.

The drunk driver, a dancer at the Dayton strip club The Living Room, was driving home from her job at the club when she hit Johnson-Staeuble.

Testimony in the case, which was tried in Montgomery County Commons Pleas Court, revealed that the club encouraged dancers to drink on the job–and actually profited from the inflated price of those drinks, which were bought for the dancers by the customers.

Both the club and the drunk driver were defendants in the Johnson-Staeuble case.

Lowe Scott Fisher said the verdict was a warning to both business owners as well as drunk drivers.

“The jury sent a message that you cannot run a business by encouraging your own people to drink on the job and then putting them on the road after work to drive home in varying states of intoxication.”

“The evidence was clear that dancers were hired more to drink than to dance, as the majority of the club’s profits derived from alcohol consumed by the dancers, not the customers.”

“Hopefully,” he continued, “clubs like this learned their lesson–if a club is going to encourage its own people to drink on the job, it needs to provide a safe means of getting the dancers home, so the innocent public is not put in danger.”

Since 1976, the award-winning trial attorneys at Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA have successfully represented people in the areas of motor vehicle accidents, automobile product safety, personal injury, home and workplace safety, medical malpractice, and birth injuries, as well as families of victims of wrongful death. U.S. News & World Report named the firm to its “Best Law Firms” list (2010–2013), while partners Greg Scott and Ryan Fisher were also honored as Ohio Super Lawyers for 2013.

Back To Blog