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Landmark Dram Shop Verdict in Allegheny County

An Allegheny County jury this afternoon returned one of the largest civil verdicts in the history of Allegheny County in a case involving a drunk driver who was served alcohol at a local Elks club. The award of more than $28 million against the Elks Club Lodge No. 11 of Pittsburgh will grow to more than $30 million with interest.

Attorneys John P. Gismondi of Pittsburgh and Matthew D. Racunas of White Oak represented three families from Elizabeth, PA, who suffered death or injuries in a September 2009 crash which occurred in the Lincoln Place section of Pittsburgh. The accident happened when a young gentleman, Timothy Lesko, who had been drinking all day at a Gun Bash held at the Elks club on Buttermilk Hollow Road crashed within minutes after leaving the club.

The lawsuit focused on the lack of alcohol safety practices at the Elks club.

"I think this case will send a loud message to all of these social clubs who host events where drinking goes on," said Mr. Gismondi. "Most of these places are far behind the national restaurant chains and responsible bars when it comes to alcohol safety and, quite frankly, they need to get their act together."

Mr. Gismondi can be reached at the above number for any further questions.

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