Parents sue Midtown bar for son's death in DUI crash

The parents of a Governor's Office intern killed in an early-morning  car crash almost two years ago are suing the Midtown Bar that employed the waitress who was drunk when she slammed into Jordan Griner's Mustang.

Griner was 24 and working for then-Gov. Sonny Perdue when he died on June 19, 2010, an hour after Christa Scott ran a red light at West Peachtree and 17th Streets moments after she had left work at Door 44 a few blocks away.

According to the suit, Scott, A VIP waitress, and other Door 44 employees enjoyed free "shift shots" before she left the bar around 4 a.m.  Scott's alcohol level was .229, almost three times the legal limit of .08, according to prosecutors. In October she pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and wrongful death and was sentenced to five years in prison and five years on probation.

The  lawsuit, filed this week in Fulton State Court, blames Door 44 for giving Scott several alcoholic drinks and then letting her leave the property in her car.

The suit said Door 44 is liable "for damages equal to the full value of Jordan Griner's life."  The suit said Jordan Griner might have lived another 50 years; his parents are asking for $1 million plus legal, medical and burial expenses.

Door44 did not respond to message left Tuesday afternoon on voicemail seeking comment.

Autumn and Toni Griner said in the suit the Door 44 management was responsible for Jordan Griner's death because they continued to serve Scott, then 26, even though she was noticeably drunk. They knew "or should have known" Scott would be driving her Ford Mustang convertible to the condominium complex on Lenox Road in Buckhead where she lived, the suit said.

Jordan Griner, a University of Georgia graduate from Augusta, had worked in the governor's constituents office for almost a year and had just learned he won a six-month fellowship at the Capitol.

He was the designated driver for other interns celebrating the the end of a six-month government fellowships and Griner's new fellowship. He had just dropped off three friends and was driving home to the Atlantic Station apartment where he was living when Scott's car slammed into his.

The lawsuit said Jordan Griner was conscious during the 30 minutes it took fire fighters to extricate him from his car and was in "excruciating pain." He died at Grady Memorial Hospital of a ruptured heart.

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