Clearwater, Florida - The veteran lawyer and his young client are bonded by their past. "Me and Mr. Carey have both lost something," says Andrew Hall.
They lost and lost big. In 1983, Tom Carey lost his new bride Joni. And last year, Andrew Hall lost his left leg. In both cases, drunk drivers were to blame.
"I fought my whole life to learn how to walk and a drunk driver ripped that away," said Hall. The 20-year-old has cerebral palsy and after years of surgeries and hard work, he had defied doctors' expectations and learned how to walk.
While Hall and his attorney share a past, they are now also linked by their court fight. They're suing Joshua West, the man convicted of driving drunk and hitting Hall while he stood outside his apartment. His body torn apart, Hall spent seven months in the hospital. West is now serving an eight-year prison term.
The lawsuit also targets Shephard's Beach Resort, the bar that served West before the crash.
"Shephard's is incredibly responsible for this tragedy," said Hall from his attorney's office.
Carey says his investigation revealed that Shephard's over-served West. He says the bar served up about 10 Long Island Ice Tea drinks in just a two-hour period.
"He (West) was ejected from the bar, because on the way to the men's room he fell against the wall and collapsed to the ground drunk," said Carey. Carey says bar workers then walked West to his car and watched him drive away.
Shephard's had no comment on the lawsuit and did not refer 10 Connects to an attorney either.
Carey says Florida alcohol laws make such a lawsuit difficult to win. "They're let off the hook," he says of bars. But he and Hall hope the suit will bring both monetary compensation and behavior changes.
"Bars that over-serve their patrons should bear responsibility," Carey said.
And after having his body crushed, Hall wants everyone to know how drunk driving destroys lives. With a sigh from his wheelchair Hall says, "Every day's a struggle."
Kathryn Bursch, 10 Connects