Rick's Cabaret sued in teen's death

Emily Jones killed in 2011 drunk driving crash

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HOUSTON - A family filed a civil lawsuit against Rick's Cabaret for the wrongful death of their daughter, who was killed in a drunk driving accident.

According to the lawsuit, the company's policy encourages workers to sell as many alcoholic beverages as possible.

Emily Jones' family said it's that policy that contributed to Emily's death on March 30, 2011.

"Losing Emily was devastating to all of us. It's not going to bring her back, but maybe now somebody will listen and changes will be made to these bars," said Tracy Foster, Emily's mother.

Jones was driving her pickup truck when she was hit from behind by a vehicle driven by Erasmo Ramirez.

The lawsuit claims Ramirez had been drinking at Rick's Cabaret that night. He was driving more than 100 mph when he smashed into Jones' truck, said investigators.

According to the lawsuit, Rick's employees continued to serve Ramirez drinks even though he was already intoxicated. The suit claims Ramirez was removed from the club after he refused to pay for dances and/or services provided by Rick's entertainment staff.

Investigators said Ramirez's blood alcohol level was at .295 at the time of the accident, more than three times the legal limit in Texas.

He was charged with intoxication manslaughter and later sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The lawsuit claims that Rick's requires its entertainers to pay a "house charge" every night in order to work at the club, and workers are encouraged to pay the fee by collecting "credits" based on the number of drinks they sell. The lawsuit said that policy encourages the club to serve alcohol despite how intoxicated a person may already be.

Local 2 tried to reach Rick's Cabaret but they said they could not comment on the lawsuit.

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