May 2004 – Costs mount in SUV crash at track-casino

Des Moines Regster. Jeff Eckhoff. May 31, 2004.

Costs mount in SUV crash at track-casino 

It cost the two women who were injured in the incident even more.A bad night of drinking and gambling at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino two years ago cost Douglas Kinney a conviction for willful injury and the next 30 years of his life.

The bill for Prairie Meadows is still being tallied.

Lawyers and casino officials say Kinney’s drunken decision to crash his Chevrolet Tahoe though a casino lobby has cost Prairie Meadows hundreds of thousands of dollars so far, with more bills on way.

A Prairie Meadows spokesman said it cost $213,632 to repair the damage after Kinney, 56, drove through a concrete planter and two sets of doors and into the south lobby on Oct. 5, 2002.
Testimony during a trial last summer showed that Kinney, who entered the casino with $600, drank at least 10 beers and visited a cash machine seven times over the next six hours. His vehicle was traveling roughly 44 mph when he crashed through the door near his favorite ATM.

This month, Prairie Meadows agreed to pay a $30,000 fine for serving alcohol to Kinney after he became intoxicated.

That agreement followed the casino’s previous decision to settle a lawsuit brought by Ardeth Klobnak, one of two women Kinney ran over when his Tahoe crashed through the door.

“Ardeth Klobnak had almost $150,000 in medical bills,” said her attorney, Donald Beattie. “Our economist had her actual damages at about $500,000. That’s without any pain and suffering.

“You can assume the settlement was substantial.”

Prairie Meadows declined to comment about the Klobnak lawsuit.

A lawyer for the casino did not return phone calls about the latest case, which Beattie filed this month.

Court papers filed on behalf of Sandra Veach, the other woman Kinney hit, accuse Prairie Meadows of violating state liquor law and acting negligently in giving Kinney beer. No court date has been set.

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