White Sox lawsuit moved to Lake County courts

2012-09-06T12:42:00Z 2012-09-07T13:41:03Z White Sox lawsuit moved to Lake County courtsBob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com
September 06, 2012 12:42 pm  • 

HAMMOND | A federal lawsuit claiming the operators of U.S. Cellular Field served alcohol to an intoxicated motorist was moved Thursday back to Lake County courts.

The lawsuit accuses employees at the Chicago baseball park of knowingly serving alcohol to a drunken man, who later was involved in a car crash in which two of his passengers were injured. 

Federal Judge Theresa Springmann cleared the way for the move to Lake County, saying it was agreed to by all parties.

The suit was filed in the Lake County courts in July by Dennis Frye, but it was moved to the federal level when questions arose about the citizenship involved with one of the defendants, Illinois Sportservice Inc.

The other defendant is Chicago White Sox LTD.

Frye, of Chesterton, claims in the suit he was a passenger in an eastbound car on the Indiana Toll Road returning to Chesterton from a White Sox game just before midnight July 9, 2010, when the driver left the road and struck a truck.

According to The Times archives, the three-vehicle crash tied up eastbound traffic on the Indiana Toll Road, and the driver of the car tested positive for having a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit.

A semitruck was entering the Toll Road at exit 21, in Lake Station, when it was struck by a black 1997 Acura driving east on the Toll Road at 11:42 p.m., according to Indiana State Police. The car then collided with a large charter bus.

Frye and another passenger in the Acura were airlifted by helicopter to Chicago-area hospitals and the driver was taken to Methodist Hospitals Northlake in Gary, according to Times archived stories.

The driver was tested by state police and found to have a blood alcohol content above the legal limit. Police at the time said charges were pending against the driver of the car, but a check of Lake County court records Thursday turned up no finding of charges against that person. 

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