Man sues limo company over spouse’s drowning death

VIDEO: Man sues limo company over spouse’s drowning death

ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - Almost three years after a man drowned off the Isle of Palms, his spouse is suing the limo company that took him to the beach.

According to the lawsuit, Joel O'Sullivan says Coastal Limousine never should have taken him to the beach.

The lawsuit says that Coastal Limo picked up Ronald Sanchez, along with his friends and family for a charity event in August 2017.

It goes on to say the passengers were taking shots of Fireball in the back of the limo before the event. The suit states they drank more at the charity event, asked the limo driver to buy them beer and subsequently take them to a bar, all of which he did.

Later that night, when the group asked to go to another bar that turned out to be closed, Sanchez and a friend requested they go to the beach at the Isle of Palms to swim in the ocean instead, the suit states. It says that Sanchez and a friend got in the water, but Sanchez never came back.

The lawsuit goes on to say that Sanchez's brother found him floating face down in the water.

Documents state an autopsy report showed Sanchez had a blood alcohol level of 0.276

The lawsuit also states the contract with the limo driver prohibited him from providing alcohol and the driver could have refused to drive anyone who was intoxicated.

After Sanchez’s death, court documents state that his credit card was charged more than $1,100.

Sanchez's spouse wants Coastal Limo to pay for his loss of income as well as attorney fees and other damages.

Coastal Limo released the following statement in response to the lawsuit:

Coastal Limousine of Charleston has been providing transportation services in the Lowcountry for the past six years. We value the safety of our clients. We are and have been deeply saddened by the tragic drowning of Ronald Sanchez three years ago. We are currently preparing our formal response to the lawsuit and feel that it would be inappropriate to comment on the specific allegations of the lawsuit until our response is filed other than to extend our deepest condolences to the Sanchez family.

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