ESPN Star's Wife Was 3 Times Over Legal Limit When She Died

Suit alleges Katherine Berman was intoxicated before she was served
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2018 6:21 AM CDT
Updated Aug 31, 2018 6:51 AM CDT
Restaurant Sued for Serving ESPN Star's Wife Before Crash
This 2013 file photo shows Katherine Berman in Southington, Conn.   (Christopher Massa/Republican-American via AP, File)

Connecticut's Dram Shop Act makes liable an establishment that serves alcohol to an intoxicated person if that person subsequently kills or injures someone, and it's what a somewhat high-profile suit was filed under. The suit alleges Katherine Berman, the 67-year-old wife of ESPN personality Chris Berman, was served by Woodbury's Market Place Kitchen & Bar on May 9, 2017, though she was intoxicated. She left the restaurant in the early afternoon and crashed into a car driven by Edward Bertulis, 87. Both were killed, and Bertulis' family is behind the suit, which seeks upwards of $50,000 from the eatery and owner Elias Hawli. The suit doesn't detail how many drinks Berman, who was having lunch with sister Sandra Lewis, allegedly received.

But a state police report obtained by the Hartford Courant quotes Lewis as saying Berman had oysters, stuffed clams, bread, and one martini that she didn't finish, followed by an alcoholic chocolate drink that also wasn't finished. The report says Berman's blood-alcohol level was .26, more than three times the legal limit. She was driving her Lexus as fast as 82mph on a road that had a 45mph speed limit, did not stay in her lane, and never braked before slamming into Bertulis' vehicle. Traces of oxycodone, tramadol, and anti-depressants including citalopram were found in her system; Chris Berman told police she was being treated for a minor back fracture. One wrenching detail from the Courant: Bertulis was killed after leaving the cemetery he visited daily; his wife was buried there in 2015. (More car crash stories.)

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