Early in the morning on Jan. 31, 2020, Springfield police officers responded after a Ford Mustang crashed into a home on South Florence Avenue near Mercy Hospital.
The driver of the car, 20-year-old Caleb Brown, and his passenger, 21-year-old Mason Ivey, died from their injuries. Police said at the time that preliminary tests indicated Brown was intoxicated.
Ivey's father is now suing two Springfield restaurants — Big Whiskey's and Applebee's, claiming they sold alcohol to Brown (who was underage) in the hours leading up to the crash.
The lawsuit, which was first filed in January 2022 and is scheduled to go to trial in April, accuses Big Whiskey's and Applebee's of being careless and negligent by not asking for Brown's ID and for serving him drinks when he was visibly intoxicated.
Ivey's father is seeking damages for Ivey's funeral expenses, Ivey's pain and suffering, and the loss of Ivey's companionship going forward.
Andrew Donelan, a Springfield attorney who represents Big Whiskey's, said it is against his firm's policy to comment on pending litigation.
Donelan did file a written response to the lawsuit in which Big Whiskey's denies failing to check Brown's ID or serving him when he was visibly intoxicated.
The attorney listed as representing Applebee's did not return a phone call Monday seeking comment for this report. In its written response filed to the court, Applebee's denied serving Brown when he was visibly intoxicated and said it had "insufficient information as to the truth or falsity" of whether staff checked Brown's ID.
Both restaurants stated in their filings that Ivey failed to look out for his own safety when he chose to ride in a vehicle operated by an intoxicated person.
Brown and Ivey were both from Lebanon. The lawsuit says Ivey was survived by a young son.
This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Crash victim's father sues Big Whiskey's, Applebee's for serving minor