WBUR

Lawsuit, Underage Drinking Test Liability Of Kraft, Gillette Stadium

Maryann and Steve Davis' daughter, Debra, was killed in a drunk driving accident following the New England Country Music Festival at Gillette Stadium in 2008. Their car's bumper sticker memorializes Debra, and calls for help to stop underage drinking at the now-titled Countryfest. (David Boeri/WBUR)

Maryann and Steve Davis’ daughter, Debra, was killed in a drunk driving accident following the New England Country Music Festival at Gillette Stadium in 2008. Their car’s bumper sticker memorializes Debra, and calls for help to stop underage drinking at the now-titled Countryfest. (David Boeri/WBUR)

BOSTON — In a Dedham courtroom Tuesday, lawyers for Robert Kraft will argue that the owner of the New England Patriots and Gillette Stadium is not liable for the deaths of two young women killed in a drunk driving accident in 2008.

Both the driver and a passenger had spent the day drinking at a tailgate party during a country music festival at the stadium. Both were underage.

Kraft’s attorney will compare him to a teenage girl in an unrelated case, who threw a party while her parents were away. In that case, the high court ruled the parents were not liable because they did not supply the alcohol.

The Rowdy Tailgate

In this evidence exhibit photo, Alexa Latteo, left, and Debra Davis are at the music festival in 2008. They would be dead within six hours. The car crash occurred on Route 1 in Wrentham. (Courtesy)

In this evidence exhibit photo, Alexa Latteo, left, and Debra Davis are at the festival in 2008. They would be dead within six hours. The car crash occurred on Route 1 in Wrentham. (Courtesy)

On July 26, 2008, Debra Davis, of Milton, and four young friends paid $40 to park their minivan in a lot at Gillette. They did not have tickets to get inside the New England Country Music Festival. They came to tailgate and party.

The stadium held 54,000 fans. In the parking lots there were tens of thousands more, police estimated. Many of them had no tickets to get inside, like 20-year-old Davis, 19-year-old Alexa Latteo and 20-year-old Nina Houlihan.

“We were all mixing hard alcohol with soda or a juice and eventually we were just taking straight shots of vodka, or rum in their case, and then drinking beer,” Houlihan said.

By 2008, the country music festival at Foxborough was gaining a reputation among law enforcement agents as one of the biggest underage binge drinking tailgate parties in New England. The kid drinkers were as conspicuous as their red Solo cups, the drinking games of Beirut or beer pong, the free-for-all — and the mayhem.

Houlihan says the three young women drank with their friends for hours, moving between Parking Lots 11 and 13. Within a couple of hours, she says, she was inebriated, and so was the crowd. It was out of control. Witnesses describe people dancing atop buses. She says guys were brawling, guys and girls were fighting, and they were urinating and vomiting in public.

In this evidence exhibit photo, Nina Houlihan is at the music festival in 2008. A beer pong game goes on in the background. (Courtesy)

In this evidence exhibit photo, Nina Houlihan is at the music festival in 2008. A beer pong game goes on in the background. (Courtesy)

“It was like a zoo,” Houlihan said. “It was crazy. It was just like a party going out of control.”

But, she says, no one checked their IDs. No one stopped their games of beer pong or drinking jello shots.

“You never saw any security guards there?” I asked her. “You were never asked if you were underage, if you had a ticket? And you never saw security guards asking that of anybody you were with?”

“No,” she said. “None of that. From what I remember, no, none.”

Signs on the way into the Gillette lots read “No tickets, no entry.” The presence of so many without tickets suggests the policy was not widely or evenly enforced by parking lot attendants.

“We stopped to pay, but nothing to do with tickets. We were all fine,” Houlihan said. “We didn’t have any trouble.”

“Did anybody ever come up to you and ask you if you had a ticket or not?” I asked her. She said no.

The Accident

The day sizzled, just shy of 90 degrees, and then at 6, Houlihan says, security guards and cops showed up to tell everyone without a ticket to get out or be arrested.

“How can you have something host an event where you know that everyone is getting wasted, drunk, inebriated, and then kicking them out?” she said.

Davis got into the front passenger seat of Latteo’s car, Houlihan got into the back, and Latteo took the wheel. A mile or so down Route 1, she took a curve at high speed, lost control, and hit a tree. Houlihan suffered multiple fractures and a broken pelvis. She believes Latteo and Davis died instantly.

“I just remember looking in the front seat and seeing, they weren’t there anymore,” Houlihan said. “I kept tapping them and shaking them, trying to do anything I could and I knew they weren’t passed out or had concussions. I just had a feeling.”

Friends Alexa Latteo, left, and Nina Houlihan in an undated photo (Courtesy)

Friends Alexa Latteo, left, and Nina Houlihan in an undated photo (Courtesy)

“It seemed that their necks had been broken?” I asked. She said yes.

Latteo had a blood alcohol content of .24, three times the legal standard of intoxication. Davis’ was .20.

So who was to blame? Kraft and his family businesses did not supply alcohol to any of them. The young women brought it with them, they drank it on Kraft property, and chose to drive off while intoxicated. By any standard, the women contributed to the accident.

“Yes, I was negligent,” Houlihan said. “Yeah, it is hard to live sometimes, you know, knowing you are the only one.” She added: “I wish I had never gone.”

The Legal Case

Both Houlihan and Davis’ parents are suing the Kraft companies, claiming negligence, gross negligence and willful and wanton behavior. Their attorney, Joseph Borsellino, argues that Kraft and his companies are just as liable as if Kraft had sold the three women alcohol.

“Supplying alcohol, furnishing, means to allow underage drinking to occur, whether you actually hand the alcohol to the party or sell it to them or not,” Borsellino said. “If you are allowing them to underage drink on your property and you’re not doing enough to prevent, you are now furnishing them alcohol.”

That is the criminal standard for “furnishing” in Massachusetts. The civil standard is much narrower. It has a bright line test. The lawyer for the Krafts cites a recent ruling by the state’s highest court, called “Juliano.” It’s the case of a teenage girl who threw a party while her parents were away. One of the guests drove off drunk and crashed, causing permanent injuries to his passenger. The court found the parents were not responsible because neither they nor their daughter supplied the alcohol.

But, Borsellino argued, “in the Juliano case there was no fee for entry. It was not a profit-making activity. In the country music fest it was just the opposite. The profit-making activity brings along with it the duties and responsibilities to keep the property safe.”

And unlike the 19-year-old hosting the party in the Juliano case, Borsellino argues, the Krafts had the means or ability to control these underage drinkers at the music festival.

“In the country music festival, in contrast, the owners of the property had an 800-man security force,” Borsellino said.

The two lawsuits draw a picture of CEO Robert Kraft and his group with their heads in the sand about underage drinking. Just a year before the deaths, in 2007, violence, vandalism and underage drinking at the festival led Foxborough selectmen to suggest it was a “riot.” The police and fire chiefs said that tailgating and underage drinking were the major issues; what was once acceptable had become “an impossibility.”

By July 26, 2008, underage binge drinking could no longer be a surprise. But, according to testimony, the Kraft Group added a thousand more parking spaces in lot P11, and it had no more than two guards who said they didn’t patrol.

“The testimony of the security guards and the kids is unanimous,” Borsellino said, “that no one from the Kraft companies stopped and inquired of a single one of them at any time throughout the day.”

The late Debra Davis and her mother, Maryann (Courtesy)

The late Debra Davis and her mother, Maryann (Courtesy)

We tried to get comment from the Kraft Group. On Monday, Douglas Fox, the Krafts’ main attorney in the case, stated it’s long-standing practice not to discuss current litigation.

The Family’s Case

“As soon as we lost Deb, I used to stand in front of refrigerator and cry and look at my Deb’s picture,” said Maryann Davis, Debra’s mother.

“I said, ‘You know what, Deb? I promise that I’m going to do everything in my power to spare another family from going through this suffering.’ ”

By the way, if you think you’ve heard the name of Debra Davis before, you probably have. She was named after her aunt, who was allegedly murdered by James “Whitey” Bulger. Her father, Steven Davis, who’s had more than his share of loss, vows he will take this lawsuit to the very end.

“Bob Kraft and Jonathan could put a stop to this thing on a phone call,” he said. “Two words: Stop it. They have the power. They own it.”

In Superior Court Tuesday, the attorney for the Krafts will seek to have the lawsuits dismissed summarily.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on wbur.org.
  • Guest

    The people responsible for this are the kids and their parents, not Bob Kraft.  Where were the parents?  This obviously was not the first time these kids drank?  

    • guest

      Here is the thing.  If the Craft business is charging for parking and admitting anyone, even without a ticket, they should be policing the lots for underage drinking and keeping control of the lot.  Having worked in the concert industry I know how hard it is to control what is going on outside the venue walls.  But what I do know is that if you have a presence and do the best you can at least you are doing your job and no one can fault you for that.  Do I think they where irresponsible young adults?  Yes.  Do I also think that the stadium staff dropped the ball as far as underage drinking?   Absolutely and they need to face some sort of consequences and do their job better.  (which from what I understand they do now.)

      As a bartender if you overserve someone or serve someone after they walk in intoxicated, they drive away and kill someone with the car you can go to jail and the bar can loose their license.  Who is to say a parking lot is any different, even if they do not sell the alcohol?   If they paid to get in then it is a business that needs to be managed appropriately   That includes keeping the lots under control and safe.  

  • Meganquinlan

    This is ridiculous.  Police officers and security guards are NOT babysitters.  What about personal responsibility?  These girls may have been “underage” but they were still adults.  At what age are we responsible for ourselves and do not need babysitters?  And if we need to be babysat, then shouldn’t the PARENTS have put a stop to this before it even began?  Again, they are just passing along the responsibility to assuage their guilt.  I’m sorry for the loss of their daughter – no parent should have to go through that, but this is another example of shirking personal responsibility.  

  • guest2

    I’m with “guest” My first thought is where are the parents? The kids and the parents were responsible. Not security guards or CEO’s. Where did the booze come from, who bought it? What a bogus case that this family has. Pain of loss is terrible, but deceit and a lump sum doesn’t make it better. The family should own up and take the opportunity to educate others on the dangers of underage binge drinking. We’ll see this case thrown out soon I’m sure. 

  • No

    Welcome to America.  It’s always someone elses fault. 

  • Guest

    Yes, there is plenty of shared blame to go around, but if you allow underage drinking on your property and do nothing to stop it, you are responsible, legally and ethically.

  • Guest

    When did we lose accountability for our own actions in this country?  Why is there always someone else to blame for our bad choices?

  • Lisafranks234

    I totally agree! 
    And I understand the pain the parents are going through – it is a terrible tragedy – and they want somebody to blame. But the kids are responsible for their actions. Alcohol levels of .2 and higher!! THEY are lucky they did not kill other people by CHOOSING to drink and drive! It is an awful price to pay for the survivor and the families. And yes Kraft should NOT ALLOW ANYBODY on the property without tickets.. and should NOT allow ANY drinking in the parking lots!

  • Eric Herot

    I *hate* the use of underage drinking as a pretense to deal with the problem of drunk driving.  Drunk driving is a particular problem here for many reasons: In this case because an event that attracts massive amounts of drinking is allowed to locate in a place where public transportation is not available (though it could be), and people who are obviously too inebriated to drive are nonetheless made to leave by car.  Given this, probably countless other people left this event with blood alcohol levels as high–or higher–than these girls, but no one knows or cares because they somehow managed to avoid hitting anything, or they were not underage.  It’s too bad this problem has to be dealt with through litigation, instead of something that is actually likely to fix the underlying problem (THE DRINKING AND DRIVING!!!).

  • J__o__h__n

    Are parking lot owners responsible if a driver had been at a bar? 

  • BrokenTusk

    People flipped out about Arizona’s immigration law because it asked the police to enforce the law based upon how people look (ie like illegal aliens).
     
    Now we have a lawsuit accusing the Krafts of not enforcing the law based upon how people look (ie under 21).
     
    I suspect the “Red Staters” that supported Arizona will switch views as “whatever happened to personal responsibility” is a right leaning issue.
    Also, I suspect the “Blue Staters” will switch sides as “I am doing this for your own good” Nanny Statism is a left leaning issue. 
     
     

  • Ptmacp

    As sorry as I am for the parents, but this seems like a money grab from deep pockets. These women were almost of legal age and they supplied the alcohol themselves. Also, I don’t think this case would be getting as much attention if the parties weren’t pretty white girls. Sorry, but if they were Latino or African American, no way WBUR has a story on it.

  • David Boeri …the reporter

    A couple of comments:
    Whether you like it or not dear readers, the criminal standard for furnishing is clearly stated and goes well beyond selling or supplying alcohol.

    Broken Tusk  raises the issue “that we have a lawsuit accusing the Krafts of not enforcing the law based upon how people look (i.e. under 21).”  Try using that as a defense for a bartender who doesn’t ask how old a young-looking customer is and not checking ID, i.e. “we didn’t want to discriminate on the basis of looks”.

    The situation is much more complicated and  we have existing law. Now in Juliano, even though the Court ruled “[W]e decline to [enlarge the scope of social host liability] and reaffirm that liability attaches only where a social host either serves alcohol or exercises effective control over the supply of alcohol”, but several of the Justices wrote that, in the right case, the Court would be willing to hold certain social hosts liable.

    And to quote from my friend David Frank’s recent piece in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, here’s attorney Richard P. Campbell, who represented the plaintiff in Juliano.

    “If I were the plaintiff’s'  attorney, I’d say that the commercial entities organized the Country Music Festival over a number of years, amde tailgating a big part of it, invited people onto their property, and permitted them to tailgate knowing that many of them were underage and were going to get hammered out of their minds. When the inevitable happens, you can’t turn around and say you’re not liable.” 

    However the judge rules today, this is a case that’s headed to a higher court.

    • jefe68

      And yet people keep making bad choices. Are we to say that’s OK and just let the lawsuits settle our collective bad behavior?
      There has to be some personal responsibility here.

      There were 800 security staff and State police on hand. I do think the Kraft organization should be compelled to stop this thing altogether as it seems to have become an excuse for drinking and not music.

  • mho

    Who actually supplied the alcohol to these underage girls?  Why are we not hearing that? The reason that they aren’t getting sued I’m sure is that they don’t have deep pockets like the Krafts.  I’m sorry these girls lost their lives, it is a tragedy, however, they broke the law.  No matter where the consumption of alcohol took place, neither of these girls are able to acquire it legally and consumed it illegally.  I know underage drinking is rampant but that doesn’t make it someone else’s fault that these girls are dead.  They were adults and made a choice based on the upbringing that they received, or lack thereof.  

  • RPgoodkin

    The whole culture of Gillette Stadium is about ‘partying.’ Kraft profited from this bacchanalia, now let him pay for the harm done. Where were the parents of these girls? They share responsibility with Kraft.

  • taisut

    There is no such thing as a drunk driving “accident” if you are the drunk driver.  Calling it such implies a lack of personal responsibility as well as unforeseeable  consequences, neither of which is the case.  Getting behind the wheel in the inebriated state described here has very easily observable possible consequences.  Crashing is a very likely and foreseeable outcome.  While I can sympathize with the parents involved here, we are lucky that no one else was killed in this crash.  Please, WBUR, help change the way we talk about drunk driving in our culture and stop perpetuating the “accident” myth.  Call it what it is–a crash.

  • Ed Reiss

    It is despicable that this Houlihan woman and the decedent’s family are suing anyone for their own wilful and reckless conduct.  NO ONE forced them to drink, no one put the bottles to their lips, and they’re responsible for their own conduct.  Typical Americans: engage in reckless behavior and hire a lawyer to claim that it’s someone else’s fault.  I hope the judge summarily throws the case out.  Mom and Dad: where were you when your daughter left the house that day?  Did you check the car to make sure there was no booze in it?  Did you ask your daughter where she was going and whom she was going with?  Did you tell her not to drink?  Did you set an example for her?  It’s a tragedy she’s dead, but it is NOT the Kraft’s fault. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/L4VA3UZVL2IVO2PIYCSAQJLCOQ Moogles

      SO you have never done anything that you shouldn’t have in your life?  SOmething your parents told you not to do?  What they are suggesting is that the enviroment there encourages drinking and it does. 

      • jefe68

        Yes I have. But that does not excuse the intent of the young women.
        They put themselves in that environment with the intent of drinking, a lot.

        Moogles, one thing you seem to be forgetting. People have to be responsible these kids were underage and drinking. Their parents seem to be fending off any knowledge of this. Somehow I doubt this is the case, unless these parents are woefully ignorant. Somehow Mr. Davis does not come across that way.
        This is a frivolous law suite and what makes it even more disgusting is they are using the death of their children for monetary gain.

  • Rick Mc

    References such as ” lawyers for Robert Kraft”, “the attorney for the Krafts”, and “Kraft and his companies are just as liable as if Kraft had sold the three women alcohol” are highly misleading and allow the reader or listener to infer that Robert Kraft is a defendant to these lawsuits. I have checked the dockets and he is not. There is a huge legal and practical distinction between Robert Kraft and the companies he has ownership interests in. Unless it an be proved that he participated in the negligent act, he is not liable for the actions or inactions of his companies. By constantly referring to Kraft or Kraft’s attorney the writer makes it see Kraft is a party and was somehow personally responsible, which he isn’t. There is nothing to indicate that he knew anything about the situation.

  • JD1212

    Parents just looking for someone to blame but themselves.
    Your daughters went to country fest without tickets…Did they think they were
    going to play monopoly for the day? They went for one reason, to
    drink. It’s a shame they died, but come on; the mother
    saying,  ”I promise that I’m going to do everything in my power
    to spare another family from going through this suffering.” She filed a civil
    suit, the only thing she has on her mind is $$$$. Take some responsibility,
    your kids went to country without tickets, drank underage, got booze underage,
    drove drunk and the worst possible outcome ensued. Don’t blame the guy with the
    money.

    • IsaacWalton

      Amen. Nice fake fur coat she has on in the photo too. My guess is she wants a real one? Maybe she’ll take all of the money she hopes to win to start some organization to raise awareness for parents. Parents who need to raise their own kids. That girl is dead because her parents conveniently looked the other way. There is no way they did NOT know their daughter was drinking underage. They stood by and let this happen.

  • David Boeri…the reporter

    Rick Mc  helpfully points out that Mr. Kraft is not being sued in a personal capacity. True indeed.
    But a plea to commen sense and simplicity is in order.
    Consider the fact that the following companies, all falling under Mr. Kraft’s contro, are being sued here:
    FXP, LLC, NPS, LLC, Kraft Group, LLC, Kraft Family, Inc. and Teamops.
    Rather than say “ FXP, LLC, NPS, LLC, Kraft Group, LLC, Kraft Family, Inc. and Teamops” every time I talk about the case and those being sued, I have chosen to say variously “Kraft and his companies”, “lawyers for Robert Kraft”, and the Kraft Group. It saves on valuable air time without being inaccurate. Robert Kraft is C.E.O. of the whole shooting works. And his name is shorthand. Though I never stated he is being sued in a personal capacity, I will use the opportunity to state explicity that he is not.
    Its, get ready, FXP, LLC, NPS, LLC, Kraft Group, LLC, Kraft Family, Inc. and Teamops, who are being sued.

    • Rick Mc

       But you don’t need to say “lawyers for FXP, LLC; NPS, LLC; Kraft Group, LLC….” It is perfectly accurate to say “lawyers for Kraft’s companies.” Stating “Kraft’s lawyers” is false. Bob Kraft is not a client of the lawyers .Their obligations are not to him, but to the companies being sued.
      Further, I repeat that the failure to make the clear legal distinction between Bob Kraft and his companies allows the listener/reader to infer that he is being sued individually and that the plaintiffs are alleging Bob Kraft is personally responsible for the alleged negligence. Under the law, Bob Kraft and his companies are distinct entities.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/L4VA3UZVL2IVO2PIYCSAQJLCOQ Moogles

    I attended a concert this summer at Gillette Stadium.  It was an excellent show, and in no way was it the artists fault but I have to say that after just going through having a loved one injured by a drunk driver it was unnerving to me to see the amount of alcohol consumed while I was there.  This is not to say that it was all kids, or all on Kraft property.  It was rather disgusting to see so many woman my age (40+) falling down drunk, fighting, watching minors vomit every where, having underage girls spilling drinks on me while in line, urinating in front of porta potties, watching the police walking countless drunk minors and others out in hand cuffs.  It was truley a disgusting display, what ever happened to having a drink and being done with it?  Far to often it seems as the stopping point for many is blacking out. 

    Personally, I think this is a big issue regardless of who is at fault.  Upon leaving the stadium and walking back to our car we saw a police officer almost hit by a vehicle and listened to  two stupid underage girls that were drunk behind us talking about trying to straighten up as they walked past the cop because she still had to drive home.  YIKES!   I was scared to drive home as I could see a fair amount of people were drunk and getting behind the wheel.  I am not saying that this is all the stadium fault but keep in mind that I was not drinking this night and I felt as if I was at risk just for attending the concert. At any point anyone of these people could have caused a wreck with someone who was innocently traveling on any roadway that night.  Still makes me sick.  I don’t know what the answer is but if the lawsuit wakes someone up so be it.  As far as where they are getting the alcohol you can by a very good fake ID on line now.  Most parents don’t know that, I know that I didn’t until recently.  I am told that most fake I.D’s  are from R.I. because they are the easiest ID’s to fake.  The ID’s a so good they can scan at most major stores.      

    • jefe68

      You know if it was me I would stop going to these events. You seem to be upset by the behavior of others and while I do agree that there is this mindset of group stupidity going on, it’s under your control to avoid it. Sounds like a great time. People being sick everywhere, women having drunken fights, and public urination. What a fun time!

      I guess you could say you had a wonderful night, except that was not it.

  • IsaacWalton

    Oh please! I feel bad for the family. But the stadium/business at fault? The fault is YOUR daughter’s, her friends and the parents. So WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO SUE THE FRIENDS AND EVERYONE ELSE WHO WAS THERE DRINKING WITH HER. The best thing you (the Davis family) can do is take responsibility for your neglect and not try to make money off of it. You should also sue all the performers. Ridiculous! I mean really. Was your daughter DRINKING at any time before the concert? Hmm? If you know your daughter drinks (and is under age) you should be KEEPING her away from such events. Take some responsibility!

  • IsaacWalton

    One more thing. You let your kids dress that way and drink and you are trying to pass the buck on this one? Shame on you. 

  • ikonoklast44

    I am sad about the loss of those beautiful young women, but as far as liability goes the Kraft Group did not “supply” the alcohol like at a bar or liquor store, and to me that is the mitigating factor.  I know at most tailgates at Gillette there are security people riding golf carts around.  I do not know what their “mandate” is, but maybe they should be on the lookout for underage drinking.  Who supplied the alcohol?

    • TG

      Whoever supplied the alcohol doesn’t have deep enough pockets.  

  • IsaacWalton

    So change the laws. WITHOUT suing a corporation? Why do you need to sue them? Just change the law.

  • IsaacWalton

    This quote blows my mind? “How can you have something host an event where you know that everyone is getting wasted, drunk, inebriated, and then kicking them out?” she said. Excuse me? Is it THEIR fault you were drunk? Responsibility!

    If you aren’t supposed to be there you have to leave. If YOU got yourself DRUNK, you still have to leave! YOU CAN CALL YOURSELF A TAXI!

  • Augiedog3369

    Was there a ruling on the dismissal yet? I have to agree with david here, whether you like it or not, the law is the law. If you know that underage drinking is going on on your property and you have the means to stop it and don’t, you are liable. Ecspecially when you are profitting from it.

    • BruinsBeatdown

       They had an 800 man security force on duty. What else were they supposed to do? By the way this Stephen Davis guy is the same boob from the Whitey Bulger trial just looking to make a buck.

      • Augiedog3369

        Not saying it’s right or wrong, just that it’s the law. Also after this event (where the girls were killed in the crash), you can no longer get into the Gillette parking lots without a ticket for the event.

  • Nicegrl

    This is a very sad and tragic event, and I’m so sorry for the loss of these lovely girls.  But if Mr. Kraft is liable for the girls’ actions, then he will have to shut down all tail-gating at all events, including football, since many people at these events choose to drink to excess.   Not all choose to drive afterwards, and Mr. Kraft has done a good job in promoting having a designated driver after Pats’ games.  It simply isn’t feasible to hire enough private policemen to check every person’s ID.  He might as well cancel football.  I do get worried about the people who drink and drive at these events, but I think the responsibility lies with the people who choose to drink and drive.   I am normally very liberal in my perspective, but  law suits like this almost convert me to conservatism.  People are personally responsible for their own behavior, and parents need to know what their children are doing, especially when it comes to drinking and driving.  The girls bought the alcohol themselves and would have drunk it elsewhere if they weren’t allowed into the Gillette parking lot.   But it’s human nature to project blame onto others.  I don’t think a jury will buy it.  

  • Just A Thought

    Again, this is very sad, it is unfortunate that they passed away. I have been going to the concert for 7 years, and to 98% of the people there are having fun (yes, with alcohol) and enjoying the music. Some people do over indulge or get violent but that will happen anytime 60K people are in one area. Also the girls could have easily been over the age of 21 and drinking legally and than have ultimately been in the same situation. I go back to the survivors quote about “how could they kick them out”.  Bars do this everyday. The patrons choose to drink and are tasked with finding their own way home. Underage or not, unfortunately this is a tragic case of bad decisions. The stadium has gotten more strict on this front, I saw many young people getting alcohol confiscated and being arrested last year. You cannot ID 60K people, it’s not practical, if you are not supplying the booze, you shouldn’t have too. 

    • Come on now

      The difference is that if a bar serves a patron, they are drunk, leave, get in an accident and kill someone/themselves the bartender and the bar itself are held responsible.  If you host a part in your home and the same thing happens guess what in Mass, you are held liable. 

      Your correct that the issue of being underage of of age to drunk really has nothing to do with it.  In both cases you would still be held liable.  They drank on a property where this behavior is known to take place.  Under the law if you are aware that this behavior is going on you can and will be held liable.  If people really understood the law it would scare you to death.  If you allow your teen to use your car and they drive drunk guess who can be sued?  Sorry people it’s true.

  • Millersurf

    Shame on her for suing !! Deal with it that you girl couldn’t call u ? Don’t take it out on football fans who will get restricted from having a good time .

  • Country fest fan

    I was at this concert, and yes, there was alot of drinking and drinking games going on, but there where State Police on motorcycles going around and watching these activities, are they responsible also?  It is very sad that these girls lost their lives that day, but they knew and had the intent of partying on knowing that they shouldn’t be drinking, due to being underage,  they didn’t have tickets and therefore had NO business being on the property. It was clearly posted that you needed a ticket to get in, and unfortunatly these girls didn’t seem to have any problem with their act of under age drinking.  Who purchased their booze, shouldn’t they be held accountable for these deaths?    

  • BruinsBeatdown

    This Steven Davis is the same boob from the Whitey Bulger trial. Does this guy just spend his entire life in court? This guy is a money hungry fraud. Get a job.

  • Guest

    This has nothing to do with Kraft or bring underaged… this is a risk they took and unfortunately it didn’t work in their favor… I feel sorry for the families for suing Kraft, I hope they don’t win… there is no example to prove here.

  • anon

    Dear Mr.
    & Mrs. White.

    Your pathetic
    liability claims against Mr. Kraft are transparently bogus and just another
    far-reaching attempt to be in the media spotlight.  Your disgraceful greediness only tarnishes
    the memory of your daughters’ memory and you should be ashamed.  Will this help your movie promotion?  Some would wonder…

    Did you not
    teach your daughter to drink and drive or get in the car with someone who
    has?  Take some responsibility here.  Neither Kraft nor the County Music Fest purchased
    poured alcohol down her throat then pushed her in a car with a
    just-as-inebriated driver.  Kraft or the
    CMF does NOT promote a “culture of underage drinking”; rather, it’s the
    un-educated or un-willing people –both OF age and under – who CHOOSE to drink
    to the point of blackout then drive. 

    In the words
    of Mrs. White, “she was dressed and ready to go at 9:00am.  She looked forward to it every year.”  Looked forward to WHAT Mrs. White?!  She had no ticket and no intention of going
    to see a show, which is the point of the event that most people are there
    for.  She got dressed up in her skimpy outfit
    to go binge drink in a parking lot like it was a giant frat party, and YOU LET
    HER!  When I was her age, there was no
    way in hell my parents would let me do that and when I was old enough to take responsibility
    for myself, I knew the consquences and made adult decisions.  Just because “other people are doing it”
    doesn’t mean it’s OK to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge as the old saying goes.  Maybe that behavior goes on at these concerts,
    but maybe those people have designated drivers or alternate plans.  Debra clearly did not.  All 3 of those girls were so intoxicated that
    not one of them was planning on being a responsible driver that night.  They were there SIMPLY to get drunk, case
    closed.

    What’s wrong
    in this country is not music festivals, its people’s lack of personal
    responsibility.  What do you suggest? A
    Nazi-state environment where because one person makes the poor choice of drinking
    and driving (mind you – with the sole intent of doing just that) that the
    entire country needs to be punished and held accountable for other people’s
    poor decisions moving forward?  Can no
    one be trusted to make their own judgments like ADULTS?! 

    You are just
    lucky someone else was not killed because of their behavior and THEY are not suing
    YOU!!! 

    • BruinsBeatdown

       Who are Mr. & Mrs White? Davis? If you are talking about them, Steve Davis is an egotistical fraud.

    • jefe68

      You mean Mr and Mrs. Davis. 
      It’s quite a coincidence that Davis is the same guy who is trying to use the Whitey Bulger trial to get publicity.

      I feel sorry for their loss, but you can’t blame the Kraft organization for the dumb choices your daughter made in terms of drinking and driving. I put more of the blame on the police for letting this happen, they should have been closing this thing down at the get go. However given the size of the event it seems that this was not possible to do with 100% results. The bottom line is these kids, and there were a lot of them, are engaging in extremely risky behavior. Life is fleeting and when you test the limits, as these girls did, the results can be tragic.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/L4VA3UZVL2IVO2PIYCSAQJLCOQ Moogles

      Maybe you should actually attend a show to see exactly how bad this issue is.  It’s not just a chosen few who are doing this.  Ask yourself why when a show starts at say 6:00 pm parking would open up at 8:00 am?  What do you think transpires?  That is not to say that I think the concerts should be cancelled but trust me if you or a loved one are hit by one of the 1000′s that are leaving this place hammered out of their skulls you’d be singing a different song. As i said in another post, i was at a concert there in August and was shocked at how bad it really was.  I don’t often go to concerts but bought tickets for my husband as a gift.  Trust me no one was leaving in cabs, NO ONE.  I don’t think any parents tell thier child to go out and drink and drive underage or not but yes Virgina, there are enviroments that breed that behavior.    Certain concerts, college campuses (every damn done) St. Patrick’s Day in Southie, etc……….. come on grow up.

  • Rick Mc

    “I have chosen to say variously “Kraft and his companies”, “lawyers for Robert Kraft”, and the Kraft Group. It saves on valuable air time without being inaccurate. Robert Kraft is C.E.O. of the whole shooting works. And his name is shorthand.”

    This is terrible journalism. Robert Kraft is not shorthand for any company that he owns. Kraft and companies that he may have an ownership interest in are separate. It is inaccurate and legally false when you write/say “lawyers for Robert Kraft.” Get the facts straight. 

  • J__o__h__n

    Why does this site only show a few comments at a time before you have to click again?  Please increase the number displayed.  It is really annoying.

  • Personal responsibility

    An adult’s irresponsible behavior caused her own death.  Nothing more.  The parents’ loss is sad, but they need to stop blaming others for their adult daughter’s poor choices.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/L4VA3UZVL2IVO2PIYCSAQJLCOQ Moogles

    Actually Jefe68,  I did enjoy myself.  The music was good and our tickets were close to the stage where there was plenty of security so it was not tolerated in this area.  You are correct I can avoid it and being as I do not attend a lot of concerts, Now that I am aware of exactly how bad it has become, I won’t.  I will always be amazed at the amount of money people will spend to go to a concert to end up so drunk they can’t remember it or need even more cash for bail.

    Again I will state that if you should be in the area when these concerts get out you better run like hell so as not to be the recipient of such stupidity.  But if you are rest assured I will remind you that you are at fault for not avoiding it. :-)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/L4VA3UZVL2IVO2PIYCSAQJLCOQ Moogles

    So when you were younger you never drank underage?  You admit that you acted inappropriately, so your parents were horrible parents and you should have been in the care of DSS. (sarcasm)  What I am not forgetting as I live in MASS is the social hosting laws.  If alcohol is present, and served at your property you are responisble.  I am not saying I agree with just I understand it.   I have family members who are police officers and rest assured that they are shocked that this has not come up before with what goes on there, not just at concerts but games as well.     There are also wrongful death suits not suites that are filed everyday, this is a civil case which holds less burden of proof than a criminal case and yes you would go after the Kraft empire because they have deep pockets as that is how you evoke change.  You hit em where it hurts in the pocketbook.  That is what usually makes people sit up and take notice.   I don’t make the rules, I just play by them. 

    It seems that what everyone is upset about is that they feel this family will get rich.  I don’t know them but I seriously doubt that is the intent.  Would it change your opinion if they donated all the proceds to MADD or some organization such as that?  Just interested.      

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/L4VA3UZVL2IVO2PIYCSAQJLCOQ Moogles

    I think it goes without saying that people understand that he is not being sued personally that it is the corporations themselves that are part of the lawsuits.  But then again you can never be sure what the people on this website comprehend.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/L4VA3UZVL2IVO2PIYCSAQJLCOQ Moogles

    One last comment.  In response to your “typical American” remark, that would tell me that you are not from the U.S., are not familiar with our laws, and especially that of the state of Massachusetts where this ocurred.  If that be the case you really have no valid place to comment as you are ignorant to the area, the laws.  Not to mention is insulting.    

  • Rick Mc

    I will state this fact again because the author and WBUR refuse to correct their mistake. These are not lawyers for Robert Kraft. Robert Kraft is not a party to the lawsuit. The plaintiffs do not allege that Robert Kraft is personally liable. A company and the people who own it are separate legal entities. An owner of a limited liability entity is not liable for claims against the company. 

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