California: lawsuit attempts to shift blame from dead buddy to bus company that provided party bus prior to the ‘party hardy’ boys getting in a car

A Menlo Park man seriously hurt in a drunken driving wreck after a 21st birthday celebration aboard a “party bus” claims the bus company and driver are at fault for his injuries, according to a lawsuit.
Gregory Hinman alleges Hobo Limousine Inc., against its own policies, allowed minors to drink during the four-hour “booze cruise” from Burlingame to San Francisco and back late Feb. 5, 2010. One of those minors, 19-year-old Brett Studebaker, got behind the wheel of an Audi, with Hinman in the passenger seat, after the trip and crashed on Highway 101 in San Mateo early Feb. 6. Studebaker died in the wreck and Hinman, 20 at the time, was left with brain damage and numerous broken bones, according to the suit filed Feb. 2 in San Mateo County Superior Court. The complaint seeks unspecified damages and comes in addition to a suit filed by the Studebaker family in October 2010.
The crash riveted the community and led to proposed legislation from state Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, which would make drivers, companies and riders responsible for preventing underage drinking on party buses.
Hobo’s attorney, Damien Morozumi, said the company is not at fault for the crash. The roughly dozen party goers were drinking before they boarded the bus at a Burlingame home, but not during the ride, he said. He went on to say the parent who organized the trip, Tracey McGillivary, signed a contract saying no minors would drink aboard the bus. ….MORE