Cemetery blamed in drunk driving lawsuit

By Joe Danneman - bio | email

FORT MITCHELL, KY (FOX19) - A northern Kentucky family says a local cemetery is at least partly to blame for their son's car accident 10-years-ago.

After years in court, the case is finally at trial.

Brad fritz severely injured his spine in 1999 When a friend, drunk and speeding through Highland Cemetery in Fort Mitchell, lost control and hit a tree.

The driver is fine. Fritz, then 15-years-old, rode along in the back seat, and now is confined to a wheelchair.

The lawsuit claims the cemetery served as a safe haven for teenage drinkers, and didn't police its property well enough.

This case passed through courts for several years but is finally at trial, and that trial started with testimony on Tuesday.

The judge presiding this case is from Lexington, because the Fritz family knows so many people in northern Kentucky, they couldn't find a judge here without a conflict of interest.

That judge asked that lawyers not speak to the media in this case because of the ongoing mess from the Ryan Widmer trial in Warren County.

The lead attorney defending the family says he expects the trial to last until late next week, and the family is seeking money in damages.

The jury heard testimonyWednesday from a police officer and a board member at the cemetery.

Brad Fritz played football at Covington Catholic High School, and now tours local schools warning students of the dangers of underage drinking.