A Dallas County jury has unanimously found Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen's Club and Eric Brent Crutchfield negligent in the death of Kasey McKenzie. Crutchfield ran over the 23-year-old woman in March 2011 after leaving the strip club heavily intoxicated.
In a separate criminal case, Crutchfield was sentenced to three years in prison for manslaughter. McKenzie's parents, Gary and Karen, brought a civil suit against the North Dallas gentlemen's club and Crutchfield for negligence resulting in their daughter's wrongful death.
According to the lawsuit, Spearmint Rhino employees continued to serve Eric Crutchfield, even though he was "obviously intoxicated."
A February 19 court filing reveals that the jury awarded the couple $10.5 million for mental anguish and loss of companionship, as well as funeral and burial expenses.
The case was complicated for a number of reasons, including the fact that Crutchfield was driving an illegal custom truck with a suspended license when he struck McKenzie as she walked across the parking lot.
His silver 2003 Ford F-250 truck was equipped with a lift kit, raising the frame several feet above a normal position. The family's attorney maintained this limited Crutchfield's visibility. Additionally, the truck's headlights were illegally installed, and the windows were very darkly tinted.
Crutchfield says he was not aware he ran anyone over upon leaving Spearmint Rhino shortly after 2 am on March 17, 2011. A toxicology report showed Crutchfield's blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit.
According to the lawsuit, Spearmint Rhino employees continued to serve Crutchfield, even though he was "obviously intoxicated" and "presented a clear danger to himself and others."
The jury found Spearmint Rhino to be 70 percent responsible for McKenzie's death; they ascribed 30 percent responsibility to Crutchfield.