Jury gets civil suit in case against bar who served man in fatal DUI case

Jury gets civil suit in case against bar who served man in fatal DUI case

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A jury now has the ball in a civil lawsuit connected to the death of Emma Longstreet.

Emma died at the age of 6 when a drunk driver slammed into her family's van back in 2012.

Billy Hutto has since been convicted and sentenced to 10 years. Now Longstreet's family is seeking damages against a bar that may served him the night before the crash.

The jury heard closing arguments shortly after 2 p.m. After that the deliberations began behind closed doors.

The bar in this case that's under the gun is the Loose Cockaboose off of Bluff Road. That's the last bar investigators say Hutto visited on New Year's morning 2012. It was later that morning that Hutto got into his car and was involved in the crash that killed Longstreet.

Hutto testified earlier this week that he was served three vodka cranberries at the Cockaboose. All sides in this case believe that when he got to that bar at around 3 a.m. blood alcohol content was at .3 which is well over the legal limit.

"Stay open all night, let him in, keep him in and serve him. Was it worth it to violate the rules all the other bars played by so you could capture their patrons and make more money," Wally Fayssoux, the Longstreet family's attorney. "Was it worth it? Their answer is yes."

Since the conviction, the Longstreet family has become tireless advocates to change South Carolina's DUI laws. The family scored a major victory in 2014 when the General Assembly passed Emma's Law, a law which cracks down on first time and continuing DUI offenders if they have a blood alcohol content above .15 at the time of their arrest.

Attorneys for the Cockaboose argue Hutto was not served alcohol at the bar that night. They believe his recollection of what happened is flawed, saying he suffered a blackout.

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