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Applebee's found 'not guilty' in DWI crash lawsuit

Created: 05/01/2014 11:06 AM
By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com

A federal jury on Wednesday found an Applebee's restaurant not guilty of over-serving a patron who was later involved in a deadly drunk driving crash.

However, Applebee's and the franchisee who operated the Santa Fe restaurant negotiated a settlement minutes before the verdict came down.

Four years ago, Santa Fe police said James Ruiz was driving drunk when he got into a crash, killing teenage sisters Del Lynn and Deshauna Peshlakai. The girls' family argued that Applebee's had over-served Ruiz.

The details of the settlement are confidential, but the girls' father says the lawsuit still accomplished something.

"I don't want my girls dying for nothing. We want to be heard, we want to make some changes in the rules of alcohol--people taking responsibility and sticking to their rules when it comes to alcohol the drunk driver," David Peshlakai said.

Ruiz is serving a 42 year prison sentence for the deadly crash.

Del Lynn and Deshauna Peshlakai were killed in a DWI crash in 2010.

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