Kyle Barnett Mar. 31, 2014, 5:38pm

GRETNA – A local bar is suing the driver of a truck who it claims crossed seven lanes of traffic before running through the front of its building and injuring bar patrons.

Rum Runner Café LLC and Rum Runners filed suit against Thomas Van Ness and Progressive Security Insurance Company in the 24th Judicial District Court on March 7.

Rum Runner Café asserts it had a large group of customers at its establishment located at 1670 Barataria Blvd. in Marrero on the night of March 8, 2013 when Van Ness allegedly drove through seven lanes of traffic and a median before crashing through the bar’s storefront. The plaintiff alleges several patrons were injured in the incident and that the bar property was damaged. Rum Runner Café claims Van Ness was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the accident.

The defendant is accused of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, failing to maintain control of the vehicle, failing to maintain a safe and proper lookout, failing to observe the building, failing to see what should have been seen, failing to exercise reasonable vigilance and failing to obey traffic laws.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for property damages, loss of revenues and damages under state law.

Rum Runner Café is represented by Kristine K. Sims of Slidell-based Tonry, Brinson & Glorioso LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division D Judge Scott U. Schlegel.

Case no. 736-252.

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