Family of man in vegetative state sues restaurant accused of serving underage driver before DUI crash
The family of a Stamford man, in a vegetative state from an alleged DUI crash, is suing the restaurant accused of serving the underage driver.
Miguel Machado, 22, is supposed to be starting his senior year at UConn. Instead, he remains in Stamford Hospital.
"You can imagine how it is to go every day to the hospital to see my son like that. You can imagine how it is. It's terrible," says Claudia Machado, Miguel Machado's mother.
On June 20, Miguel Machado was in his friend's car when that friend lost control and slammed into a pole on Cove Road.
Miguel Machado suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Police recently arrested the driver, 20-year-old Saba Surguladze. He is charged with assault, drunk driving and reckless driving.
The Machado family is suing Surguladze, his father, his father's business as well as T's Pizza Kitchen. That's where the young men went for an "all you can drink champagne brunch" before the crash.
"There was a lot of drinking going on. And the driver of the car where Miguel ended up was under the age of 21, should not have been drinking at all," says Matthew Maddox, the Machado family attorney.
Maddox says the restaurant never checked Surguladze's ID and continued to serve him even though he was clearly intoxicated.
The lawsuit is seeking $20 million total.
"He's going to need 24-hour care," says Maddox. "We don't know for how many years, so $20 million seems like a lot of money? Not compared to the cost of health care. His health care expenses are already over $500,000."
Finding a rehabilitation facility is also an issue. Miguel Machado is breathing on his own, but has no brain activity, so several places have declined to take him.
His family isn't giving up.
"I have the faith he's going to recover but we don't know when or how," says Claudia Machado.
The attorney for T's Pizza Kitchen did not respond to a request for comment.
The other defendants do not have attorneys listed in the case yet.