Family of UA Student Who Drowned Last Fall Sues Tuscaloosa Bar for Wrongful Death
Exactly one year after his death, the parents of a 20-year-old University of Alabama student who drowned in the Black Warrior River last fall have sued a Tuscaloosa bar for allegedly overserving him.
The lawsuit, filed Monday morning, blames the Gray Lady bar on Greensboro Avenue and its staff for serving alcohol to Garrett Walker, who went missing last November and was ultimately found dead in the river.
The lawsuit contains several previously unreleased details, including that an autopsy showed Walker's blood alcohol content was 0.212 g/100mL -- nearly three times the legal limit for drunk driving.
Walker, at 20, should also never have been served in the first place, his parents argued.
The complaint also accuses the Gray Lady of withholding evidence from Walker's parents and their attorneys before and after he was found.
"Andrew (Garrett Walker's father) went straight to the Gray Lady Bar because he had learned that Garrett had been there the night before. He begged for any information that might help locate his son," the family said in the lawsuit. "The manager of the Gray Lady bar told Andrew that the bar had only one camera which was located outside the bar."
The lawsuit claims that Walker's father was allowed to see footage from the exterior camera, but it was of poor quality and did not show Garrett leaving the bar.
Walker's father allegedly asked to see footage from inside the bar and was told there was none, but "law enforcement authorities were ultimately provided camera footage from multiple cameras and angles inside the bar -- cameras and footage which Andrew had been told did not exist."
The footage allegedly shows bar employees serving drinks to Walker, even after he appeared intoxicated, and "drinking with bar patrons, including Garrett Walker, a minor."
Serving minors and those who are overly intoxicated violates state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board rules, and bartenders and other employees are also barred from consuming alcohol during working hours.
The lawsuit accuses Gray Lady, its owners and staff of wrongful death, violation of Dram Shop statutes, negligence and wantonness.
The Walkers are seeking a jury trial for unspecified damages in the case. This is a developing story, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for updates as they become available.