The father of Courtney Griffin, the woman killed two years ago by hit-and-run driver Gabrielle Nestande, has filed a lawsuit against Nestande and the bar that served her drinks the evening of the incident.
The suit, filed late Thursday, alleges the Clive Bar servers knew Nestande was impaired but continued serving her, and that Nestande herself “was operating her vehicle negligently” when she hit Griffin.
The lawsuit was filed almost precisely two years to the day Griffin was killed after Nestande’s BMW veered into the 30-year-old nanny as she walked along Exposition Boulevard, in Tarrytown, and then drove away. The then-23 year old state legislative aide said she had looked down at her phone and didn’t know what she hit.
Testimony at Nestande’s trial suggested she’d been drinking heavily at two bars prior to the accident, and prosecutors claimed she was impaired, although jurors later said prosecutors didn’t prove that. Originally charged with intoxication manslaughter and failure to stop and render aid, she was convicted of criminally negligent homicide.
Her sentence of 180 days in jail and 10 years probation drew widespread criticism as being too light, and prompted state legislators to rewrite the state’s hit-and-run laws to allow more severe punishment for drivers who flee the scene of a deadly accident.
The lawsuit, filed by local attorney Jeff Edwards, seeks unspecified damages for expenses related to Griffin’s funeral and burial, as well as compensation for “past and future mental anguish.”