November 14, 2019
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Brunswick restaurants named in lawsuit related to OUI crash

Maine State Prison | BDN
Maine State Prison | BDN
Cynthia Moody

HARPSWELL, Maine — A Harpswell lobsterman who suffered significant injuries during a motor vehicle crash on Cundy’s Harbor Road last year is suing the driver, a Brunswick convenience store and four Brunswick bars that allegedly served her alcohol that night for negligence and violation of the Maine Liquor Liability Act.

Samuel Desjardins, 40, was taken to Maine Medical Center the night of Jan. 6, 2015, after the crash on Cundy’s Harbor Road.

Desjardins was headed north on Cundy’s Harbor Road near Dingley Road about 4 p.m. that day when his 2001 GMC pickup truck was struck by a 2002 Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Cynthia Moody, 52, of Harpswell.

Moody’s vehicle crossed the center line, police said at the time.

In November, Moody pleaded guilty in Cumberland County Superior Court to operating under the influence and Class B felony aggravated assault in connection with the crash. She was sentenced to five years in prison with all but 20 months suspended. She is incarcerated at the Maine Correctional Center in Windham.

Desjardins’ attorney, Benjamin Gideon, said Thursday that his client suffered “very serious” injuries including fractures of both legs. Desjardins required multiple surgeries to have “extensive hardware” placed in both legs and knees. Hardware also was placed in his left arm, which “required permanent shortening,” Gideon said, and Desjardins “may well require more surgeries.”

Gideon said Desjardins, who was previously a lobsterman, is not paralyzed, but “it is unlikely he’ll ever work again at his profession.”

On March 9, Gideon, on behalf of Desjardins, filed suit in Cumberland County Superior Court seeking damages from Moody, as well as from Cumberland Farms, Byrnes Irish Pub, Raven’s Roost, and the parent companies of Applebee’s and Winner’s Sports Grill, all located in Brunswick.

In the complaint, Gideon argued that a number of conflicting statements about the night of the crash place Moody at the various businesses, leading attorneys to believe that “she was drinking at at least one and possibly several of the establishments” named as defendants.

The suit charges that the establishment(s) served Moody liquor under circumstances in which they knew or should have known that she would pose a danger to others because she would be driving.

Gideon said Thursday he does not yet have a precise timeline of Moody’s whereabouts that night but that sworn witness testimony obtained during the lawsuit process will better establish a timeline.

The suit seeks damages including “several hundred thousand dollars” for extensive past medical expenses, as well as future medical and life needs, lost earnings and pain, suffering and emotional distress.

Gideon said Moody’s insurance policy — “not a large policy” — has already paid the maximum.

Moody’s attorney, Matthew Libby, declined to speak about the case until he had met with his client.

In a response filed in court on March 30, Libby wrote that Moody admits she was driving the truck, crossed the centerline and struck Desjardins’ truck and admits she pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced but denies the remaining claims.

Libby wrote that Desjardins “was negligent in such a manner and to such a degree as to bar or reduce any recovery to which he might otherwise be entitled,” that “injuries were caused by independent and/or intervening events over which Moody had no control” and that his “alleged injuries were the result of pre-existing events or post-incident events such that the defendant cannot be held liable for them.

Patrick Byrnes, who manages Byrnes Irish Pub in Brunswick, and Gary Sagris, owner of Winner’s Sports Grill, declined to comment on Thursday. Messages left for Raven Wing, owner of Raven’s Roost and spokesmen for Applebee’s and Cumberland Farms were not returned.



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