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Missouri Appeals Court: Drunken Driver’s Family Can Sue

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – A lawsuit can proceed against the employer of a “habitually intoxicated” Jackson County man killed in a traffic crash.

The Missouri Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that a circuit court erred in dismissing the case filed by relatives of Scott L. Hays.

Hays had been a part owner of Royer-Hays Funeral Services of Blue Springs. He was 42 in November 2008 when he drove a company van to a bar. On his way home, he died in a single-vehicle accident in eastern Jackson County.

The lawsuit claims the other owners of the business “knew or should have known” that Hays was an unsafe driver. It says there were “meetings, discussions and conferences” about Hays’ drinking.

A funeral home attorney didn’t immediately return a phone call Wednesday from The Associated Press.