The demise of George Thomas Fadgen III in a horrific one-car crash on Interstate 95 last fall can be traced to "shot girls" at Club Risque, according to a lawsuit filed against the Northeast Philadelphia strip club.
Fadgen III, 46, spent about four hours at the club the night of Sept. 6, 2012 and into the next morning before leaving in his car, the lawsuit claims, noting that after his death in the crash less than a mile from Club Risque, he had a blood alcohol content of .19.
Three separate times between his arrival at the club on Tacony Street at about 10:15 p.m. and his departure shortly after 2 a.m., Fadgen III, of the 11000 block of Basile Street in the Northeast, used the ATM inside the bar to withdraw $100.
What do lawyers on behalf of his estate believe he spent that $300 on? The very accessible shots that waitresses carry around the club.
"Club employees get commissions on every shot poured so there is financial incentive to overlook, as in the case of Mr. Fadgen, a customer who is visibly intoxicated and should be shut off," attorney Michael F. Barrett of Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky said on behalf of Fadgen III’s parents. "With every shot, practically up until the club closed, Mr. Fadgen was one ounce closer to his untimely and preventable death."
A message left at Club Risque Tuesday night was not immediately returned.
The lawsuit claims the club is at fault for Fadgen III’s death because it failed to adhere to Pennsylvania liquor-liability laws, also known as Dram Shop laws. They are meant to ensure liquor-serving establishments don’t continue to serve a patron after the person is "visibly intoxicated." It also claims the club lacks a policy for preventing intoxicated customers from leaving the premises when intoxicated; and encourages "shot girls" to continue selling alcohol to patrons when it is clear the customers are intoxicated already.
Barrett said Fadgen III is believed to have had eight to 10 drinks at the club based on his BAC level.
"Club Risque, as asserted in the Complaint, broke the law by failing to operate in a lawful manner that would have protected George Fadgen from harm," Barrett said. "Now it must be held accountable for its actions."
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