Crime & Courts

Family of Crystal Lake man killed in February suspected DUI crash sues driver's estate, bars

Photo provided
Emergency personnel work the scene of a crash Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, on Walkup Road north of Hillside Road in Crystal Lake.  Two Crystal Lake men were killed the crash. The driver, one of the deceased, was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol. Now a lawsuit has been filed against the driver and three establishments invovled in a pub crawl that the lawsuit said the driver attended before the crash
Photo provided Emergency personnel work the scene of a crash Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, on Walkup Road north of Hillside Road in Crystal Lake. Two Crystal Lake men were killed the crash. The driver, one of the deceased, was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol. Now a lawsuit has been filed against the driver and three establishments invovled in a pub crawl that the lawsuit said the driver attended before the crash

CRYSTAL LAKE – The family of a 68-year-old Crystal Lake man killed in a suspected drunken-driving crash is suing the estate of the driver and three bars the family alleges contributed to his intoxication.

Lawrence T. Madigan’s wife, Karaline Madigan, and his three children filed a lawsuit in McHenry County Court against the estate of Tyler Stewart, as well as the businesses Peggy Kinnane’s in Arlington Heights, Durty Nellie’s in Palatine and Finn McCool’s in Crystal Lake, according to court records.

The May 9 wrongful death lawsuit alleges that Stewart, 28, had attended a pub crawl with between 50 and 60 people to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

Madigan and Stewart, also of Crystal Lake, died in a two-vehicle crash about 7:35 p.m. Feb. 11. Stewart crossed the median of Walkup Road in unincorporated Nunda Township and crashed head-on into Madigan, who was returning home from a real estate client’s house, according to police reports.

Stewart’s blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit, according to the lawsuit.

Madigan was pronounced dead at the scene, and Stewart died from his injuries a day later.

The eight-count lawsuit seeks a minimum of $400,000, plus court costs. It seeks $150,000 from Stewart’s estate, $50,000 each from the owners of Peggy Kinnane’s and Durty Nellie’s, and $50,000 from each of the three entities listed as having an ownership or management interest in Finn McCool’s.

The 50 to 60 people who attended the pub crawl, including Stewart, took a Metra train from the downtown Crystal Lake station to the first establishment, Peggy Kinnane’s, and traveled by train to the next two bars, the lawsuit said.

Attorney Jennifer Ashley, who represents Madigan’s next of kin, said video surveillance shows Stewart entering Finn McCool’s about 6:58 p.m. and leaving about 7:21 p.m., about 15 minutes before the crash.

She said that while the Madigan family is looking for financial compensation for the pain, suffering and death they’ve dealt with, they also are looking to send a message to try to prevent something like this from happening again.

“The family and I just want people to think twice if they are going on a pub crawl and they know they are going to be going to several bars, or if they are organizing one, you have to think about how everybody is getting home,” Ashley said. “If someone is too intoxicated, the bars also need to intervene to avoid a tragedy.”

Geneva lawyer Bill Porter, who is representing the Stewart family, declined to comment on the pending lawsuit. Chicago lawyer Robert Burke Jr., who is representing Finn McCool’s, could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon. Durty Nellie’s and Peggy Kinnane’s did not have lawyers as of Tuesday.

Stewart’s wife, Christina, who was named the administrator of his estate, declined to comment Tuesday.

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