Lawyer tallies civil claims in DUI case near $470 million
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Damage claims could approach $470 million from a negligence lawsuit against a prominent Las Vegas businessman accused of crashing his vehicle while driving drunk after a charity golf tournament that he organized, killing one passenger and injuring himself and three others, a lawyer told a judge.
Attorney Will Kemp said in court Tuesday that he’ll seek $68 million in compensatory damages and more than $400 million in punitive damages in a negligence lawsuit he filed June 10 on behalf of brain-injured passenger Christopher Bentley, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported .
Todd Bice, a lawyer representing driver Scott Russell Gragson and his business, Gragson Data SS Ltd., dismissed the figures as a play for media attention.
Another attorney, Robert Eglet, told the Review-Journal he represents other injured passengers and more civil negligence lawsuits are likely.
In criminal court, Gragson, 53, faces multiple felony charges that could get him decades in state prison.
He’s accused of crashing his 2015 Range Rover on May 30 after passing a security gate at an exclusive Summerlin-area community in northwest Las Vegas following the “Links for Life” golf event.
Melissa Newton, a 36-year-old mother of three, was killed.
Kemp said Bentley, 50, is being treated in Colorado for his injuries. Police said Christie Cobbett, 46, and Greg Tassi, 44, also were hurt.
Gragson’s defense attorney, David Chesnoff, has promised to fight criminal charges. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Oct. 28.
Gragson is a prominent southern Nevada real estate businessman. His grandfather, Oran Gragson, a Republican, was Las Vegas mayor from 1959 to 1974. Scott Gragson’s son, Noah Gragson, is a NASCAR Xfinity Series driver.
Information from: Las Vegas Review-Journal, http://www.lvrj.com