The family of Eric Munsell, a 24-year-old who drowned in Boston Harbor last year, has brought a wrongful death suit against the Financial District bar Market Lounge, the Boston Globe reported.
The family alleges Munsell was kicked out of the establishment after a bouncer watched him waver unsteadily and run into other patrons. Despite below-freezing temperatures, they say he wasn't allowed to grab his jacket, nor tell his friends he was leaving. No employee called Munsell a cab, and according to the suit, the bouncer watched him stumble away from the bar, and also did not tell the man's friends.
Munsell's body washed ashore near Long Wharf in April 2014.
All Massachuetts bartenders, servers, and managers are required to undergo training on safe alcohol serving practices, and a standard recommendation is to call a cab for an intoxicated guest and ensure they get into it.
The lounge, owned and operated by JPC Venture Corp. and the Cronin Group, was not cited with any violations following a Boston Licensing Board investigation into the incident. The lawsuit states Market did not ensure Munsell took a cab, but it isn't clear whether one was offered. The investigation revealed Munsell replied "no" when asked if he had a coat, and also that Market employees said he was asked to leave not because of intoxication, but because he offended a group of women there.
A lawyer for the family said their suit is so that Munsell's death isn't in vain, and to encourage bars to take more care when ejecting intoxicated customers.
In a statement, Market said it takes its responsibilities to guests seriously. "This was clearly a tragedy, and our hearts go out to Mr. Munsell’s family."
The family is seeking unspecified damages.